US Launches Airstrike in Somalia, Says Three ISIS Fighters Killed

The US usually targets al-Shabaab in Somalia

US Africa Command has announced that it launched an airstrike in northeastern Somalia on Friday that it claimed killed three members of ISIS.

The command said the strike was launched in a remote region known as Dhaardaar, which is about 50 miles southeast of Boosaaso, a city on the Gulf of Aden that’s part of the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia.

AFRICOM said that its “initial assessment” found three ISIS militants were killed and no civilians were harmed. However, the command is notorious for undercounting civilian casualties, and US military operations in Somalia are shrouded in secrecy.

AFRICOM did not share any more details about the strike, so it’s unclear if the three ISIS members who were allegedly killed were the only intended targets.

The incident marks the first time AFRICOM announced an airstrike in Somalia since March, although it’s unclear if the US military reports every strike that it launches in the country. The US typically targets al-Shabaab in southern areas of Somalia, where the US-backed Mogadishu-based government’s forces operate on the ground.

AFRICOM said that the latest airstrike against ISIS was coordinated with the “Federal Government of Somalia,” referring to the government based in Mogadishu. Puntland recently withdrew its recognition of the federal government over disagreements about changes to the constitution.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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