Mogadishu: The US military confirmed on Monday its special forces have killed eight Al-Shabaab terrorists in drone strikes carried out on Friday evening in Somalia.
The US Africa Command (Africom) said the operation which also left one vehicle destroyed occurred about 48km northwest of Kismayo in southern Somalia, Xinhua news agency reported.
“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab terrorists in the early evening hours on Friday, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo, killing eight terrorists and destroying one vehicle,” Africom was quoted as saying.
“We assess no civilians were killed in the strike,” it added, noting that the US forces will continue to use all authorised and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats.
The attack comes after Somalia’s Defence Minister Mohamed Ali Haga said on Friday the country needed increased US drone strikes to counter the terrorists groups in the country as African Union forces begin to exit the country later this month.
“If we don’t have the support of the Americans, we cannot stand on our own feet. The Somali security sector is still disorganized. And we need more drone strikes because a drone can strike the snake in the head,” Haga said.
The U.S. forces have carried out a series of drone strikes in the past month in Somalia, targeting Islamic State’s and Al-Shabaab fighters as the African Union peacekeeping mission prepares to exit the country.