US Africa Command on Sunday said it launched two airstrikes in Somalia this month that targeted al-Shabaab fighters in support of the US-backed Mogadishu-based government.
One strike took place on December 14, about 109 miles northeast of Mogadishu near the coastal town of Cadale. AFRICOM claimed the strike killed seven al-Shabaab members. The other strike took place on December 17, about 137 miles northeast of Mogadishu, also near Cadale, which AFRICOM said killed eight al-Shabaab fighters.
In both strikes, AFRICOM claimed its “initial assessment” found no civilians were killed or injured, but the Pentagon is notorious for undercounting civilian casualties in Somalia. There is virtually no accountability for US airstrikes in the country as the war is severely underreported in US media.
President Biden has escalated the air war in Somalia since he ordered the deployment of up to 500 troops to the country in May.
In recent months, the Somali government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been seeking more US support as it has launched offensives against al-Shabaab.
Besides stepping up drone strikes in Somalia, the US is also increasing its training of Somali forces. BBC reported in November that the Danab Brigade, a commando force trained by the US, is set to grow from 1,500 fighters to more than 3,000 in the coming months as the US is increasing its funding and military support.