US conducts air strikes on Shabaab militants in Somalia

Thursday July 6 2017

It was the third US strike on Shabaab Islamist

It was the third US strike on Shabaab Islamist militants since President Donald Trump authorised the Pentagon in March to take counter-terrorism actions -whether airstrikes or ground raids — when it deems them necessary to support the Somali government. FILE PHOTO | FEISAL OMAR 

By AFP
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The US military conducted an airstrike against a group of Shabaab militants in Somalia early Wednesday, officials said, the third such action in a month.

The military's Africa Command said the strike occurred at about 1:30 am local time some 480 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

"Working from actionable intelligence, the Department of Defense conducted a successful collective self-defence strike operation against an Al-Shabaab troop concentration," Africom said in a statement.

It was the third US strike on Shabaab Islamist militants since President Donald Trump authorised the Pentagon in March to take counter-terrorism actions -whether airstrikes or ground raids — when it deems them necessary to support the Somali government.

Self-defense

Wednesday's strike follows a July 2 attack on Shabaab militants and a June 11 raid of a training centre.

It was within the Pentagon's "parameters of authority to engage in collective self-defence of our Somali partners," Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.

Before Trump broadened the Pentagon's authorities, US military actions in the eastern African country each required high-level review by different agencies.

US special forces have been deployed in Somalia for years. There are currently about 50 US troops there.

Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda linked group, has been fighting since 2007 to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.