After a long pause, the US drone war in Somalia appears to be back on. For the second time this week, the US launched an airstrike on Friday in Somalia against al-Shabaab.
Pentagon spokesperson Cindi King said the strike targeted fighters near Qeycad, Galmudug, Somalia. She said US forces were “conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces” and added that no US troops were on the ground for the operation.
The Pentagon offered no further details, but the US-backed Somali government claimed the strike “destroyed al Shabaab fighters and weapons with zero civilian casualties.” The US almost always claims no civilians are harmed by its operations in Somalia, but whenever journalists make it to the scene, they usually find that civilians were killed.
The US also bombed Somalia on Tuesday, which marked the first official US airstrikes in the country since President Biden came into office. Before Tuesday, the last strikes were carried out on January 19th, President Trump’s last full day in office.
After sending troops to Somalia, the Trump administration withdrew most soldiers from the country at the end of 2020. But most troops were redeployed elsewhere in East Africa, and neighboring Djibouti and Kenya host US military facilities where the drones that carry out airstrikes in Somalia are based.