AFRICOM Claims 12 al-Shabaab Killed in Latest US Airstrike in Somalia

The strike is the first known US airstrike in Somalia this month

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said Sunday that it launched an airstrike against al-Shabaab in Somalia on February 10, the first known US airstrike in the country this month.

The command claimed the strike killed 12 al-Shabaab fighters and said it “assessed” no civilians were harmed due to the remote location. But the Pentagon is notorious for undercounting civilian casualties, and there’s no accountability for the US air war in Somalia as it receives very little media coverage.

AFRICOM said the strike was carried out about 28 miles southwest of the coastal Somali town of Hobyo. The location was about 298 miles northeast of the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The command said the strike was launched at the request of the US-backed Mogadishu-based government, which has been engaged in heavy fighting against al-Shabaab since launching an offensive a few months ago.

US airstrikes in Somalia have increased since President Biden ordered the deployment of up to 500 troops to the country last spring. As a result, US airstrikes in Somalia increased by 30% in 2022.

In January of this year, three US airstrikes were reported in Somalia. The US also said it carried out a raid against an ISIS leader in Somalia, killing him and 10 of his “associates.”

The US military portrays al-Shabaab as a major threat due to its size and affiliation with al-Qaeda, but it’s widely believed the group is not a global threat. Al-Shabaab was born out of a US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia that was launched in 2006, and the group didn’t declare loyalty to al-Qaeda until 2012, after years of fighting the US and its proxies.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.