In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted two (2) airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia targeting al-Shabaab militants on November 19, 2018.
We currently assess the first airstrike killed twenty-seven (27) militants. This precision strike was a planned and deliberate action. We currently assess the second, separate airstrike killed ten (10) militants. We currently assess these airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.
These precision airstrikes were conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia as it continues to degrade al-Shabaab. Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region.
Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia. In particular, the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.
The desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations cannot destabilize Somalia and its neighboring states, nor threaten the interests of the U.S. and its international allies in the region. Accordingly, U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.