U.S. says airstrike in Somalia killed one terrorist

The AFRICOM airstrike was conducted in coordination with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). /Getty

One terrorist was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia on Thursday, conducted in collaboration with Somali forces, the U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement on Friday.

Africom said its assessment shoed that no civlians were killed or injured in the airstrike.

“Al-Shabaab’s leadership recently reiterated its primary focus of attacking American and Western targets beyond Somalia’s borders. Al-Shabaab remains fully committed to exporting violence,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “We support the international security assistance model in Somalia.  Our support, coupled with other international partners, restricts that ambition as the Somali forces continue to grow in capability.”

Africom said it would also pursue other solutions than military action to achieve stability in the Horn of African nation.

“U.S. Africa Command’s security cooperation efforts are closely linked with the U.S. Embassy in Somalia’s political and economic initiatives targeting the root causes of instability,” the agency said.

Al-Shabaab has waged an extremist war in Somalia for over a decade, killing tens of thousands and displacing millions others.

U.S. forces, African Union troops and other forces are deployed in Somalia with the aim of ridding the Horn of African country of the threat of terrorism.

The forces have made gains and forced the militants out of major towns, though they still manage to stage attacks especially using suicide bombers.

While the U.S. initially engaged the militants minimally, President Donald Trump granted broader authority to carry out strikes after coming into power.