US Africa Command said in a press release that it launched an airstrike in Somalia on January 23 against al-Shabaab in support of the Mogadishu-based government.
The press release said the strike took place in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, about 246 miles northeast of Mogadishu. AFRICOM said its “initial assessment” found that two al-Shabaab fighters were killed.
AFRICOM claimed its assessment also found that “no civilians were killed or injured” due to the “remote location of the operation,” but the Pentagon is notorious for undercounting or lying about civilian casualties, especially in Somalia, where operations are shrouded in secrecy.
The strike was the second known US airstrike in Somalia in just a matter of days. The last strike was reported on January 20, which AFRICOM claimed killed 30 al-Shabaab fighters.
The US has escalated its airstrikes in Somalia since President Biden ordered the deployment of up to 500 troops to the country last May. As a result, US airstrikes in the country rose by 30%. Despite the escalation, the US war in Somalia receives very little media coverage.
Adding to the media blackout, the US-backed government in Somalia also has strict rules for media. Somali journalists say the government recently enacted a new rule that requires them to submit content for approval.