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July 21, 2021

Pentagon confirms first strike in Somalia under Biden administration

The airstrike against al-Shabab militants near Galkayo was carried out by the US Africa Command.

The Pentagon confirmed that the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has conducted the first airstrike in Somalia under US President Joe Biden’s administration.

The strike near Galkayo was carried out against Al Qaeda-linked insurgent group al Shabaab militants in the East African country, according to news reports.

The militant group mostly targets military bases and civilian infrastructure in Somalia and other regional countries.

In an emailed statement to media outlets, US Defence Department spokeswoman Cindi King was quoted by The New York Times as saying that the strike supported a US-trained and advised Somali commando force, Danab.

King told the newspaper: “There were no US forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation.

“US forces were conducting a remote advice-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.

“US forces are authorised to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under collective self-defence.”

Before Biden was inaugurated as US President, the US military forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia on 19 January under the then-President Donald Trump’s administration.

Last year, a total of 63 airstrikes were carried out by the US forces.

As part of Operation Octave Quartz mission, the US forces and assets in Somalia have been relocated to other East Africa operating locations.

AFRICOM continues to train Somalian security forces and sending troops on a rotational basis.

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