U.S. forces on Sunday launched an airstrike against terrorists who were attacking a Somali National Army unit in what officials said was the largest combined military operation in the region in five years.
The initial assessment is that the Sept. 18 strike killed 27 fighters with al-Shabaab, the Islamic fundamentalist insurgent group involved in the ongoing Somali civil war, according to officials with U.S. Africa Command.
There were no reports of civilian injuries from the strike near Buulobarde, Somalia. The defensive mission will allow Somali forces and troops with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to continue their operation to disrupt al-Shabaab in the Hiiraan region of central Somalia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
“Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to Somali, regional, and U.S. interests,” U.S. Africa Command said in a statement. “The U.S. will continue to support Somali and ATMIS partners in defeating al-Shabaab terrorists who threaten the peace and stability of Somalia.”