African Command Says US Airstrikes Kill at Least 35 ‘Extremists’ in Somalia

Statement describes attacks as 'precision strikes' in Hiran

US African Command (AFRICOM) has issued a statement Monday reporting that a series of “precision” US airstrikes killed at least 35 people in central Somalia. Those slain were all described as “terrorists,” though none were identified by name.

This is in keeping with most statements out of AFRICOM on attacks in Somalia, presenting all victims of all American attacks as al-Shabaab members, but rarely offering any more than some vague speculation on what they were actually doing.

In this case, the statement would only say al-Shabaab were “massing their forces,” and that they were all killed before they were able to organize. This doesn’t present them as the large, imminent threat that most statements try to paint them as to justify US strikes on foreign soil.

While US involvement in Africa is generally on the decline, airstrikes in Somalia have risen substantially since President Trump took office. Large numbers have been killed in these strikes, and while the US has virtually never admitted killing anyone else, there have been incidents where civilians were ultimately affirmed to have been slain.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.