US Airstrike Kills Five in Somalia

Target was suspected of involvement in al-Shabaab finance

According to African Command, the US carried out an airstrike against Saaxa Weyne on the Somali coast Thursday, killing at least five people, all of whom were labeled suspects. They insist no civilians were slain.

Air Force officials said that the primary target of the strike was suspected of involvement in al-Shabaab’s financing. They added the attack proved US commitment to its partners in Somalia.

Emphasis of the strikes as proof of commitment has been repeated in recent US strikes in Somalia, coming as the US ground troops continue to withdraw. This may raise expectations that the US will keep attacking sites in Somalia just to say they remain involved.

Intelligence on the ground for US strikes in remote countries often isn’t great to begin with, which is usually a lot of why troops are present there. As the troops leave, the risk grows that future US strikes won’t hit intended targets.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.