The US military has carried out an airstrike in Somalia today against a senior leader of the al-Shabaab group, the Pentagon has said in a statement.
The Pentagon is currently uncertain as to whether or not the airstrike was successful in eliminating the senior leader, although it noted that there was no sign of civilian casualties.
Popular geopolitical commentator @ZeddRebel pointed out on Twitter that the airstrikes seem to have been based upon intelligence gathered from a former intelligence chief with Shabaab:
US launches strike against senior Shabaab leader just 2 days after terror group’s intelligence chief “surrendered to authorities.” Hmmm…
— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) December 29, 2014
Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda affiliate that operates primarily within Somalia and Kenya. The group ruled most of southern Somalia from 2006 to 2011, when it was pushed out of the region by Afridcan peacekeeping troops.
Al-Shabaab was responsible for the September 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. The group has also been responsible for a recent rash of attacks throughout northern Kenya in the past few months.
The previous head of al-Shabaab was killed in a US airstrike in September.
The full Pentagon statement is below:
The U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Somalia today against the al-Shabaab network. The target of the strike was a senior al-Shabaab leader. The strike took place in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia. At this time, we do not assess there to be any civilian or bystander casualties. We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information, when appropriate, as details become available.
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