US airstrike kills 52 al-Shabaab militants

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To support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting militants near Jilib, Middle Juba Region, Somalia, on January 19, 2019.

U.S. Africa Command conducted the airstrike in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabaab militants against Somali National Army Forces.

“We currently assess this airstrike killed fifty-two (52) militants,” said a statement by U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs office.

It added: “At this time we assess no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.”

Alongside Somali and international partners, US said it is 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.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States, and U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to protect the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.

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