In a joint operation, an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Dujuuma, Somalia, was targeted on Sunday, wounding three militants, according to a U.S. assessment. The strike came a day after a strike on a compound near Saakow, Somalia, killed two and wounded one, and four days after three people were killed during a strike near Wadajir, Somalia.
No civilians were injured or killed as a result of Sundays airstrike, AFRICOM said in a news release.
Gregory Hadfield, the U.S. Africa Commands deputy director of intelligence, said in a statement the support of the U.S. military in the region is vital for the counter-terrorism mission.
“U.S. support to African-led counter-terrorism operations is crucial in East Africa,” he said. “China and Russia appear content to remain on the sidelines as our African partners, with U.S. support, fight extremism and pave the way to enhanced security and stability on the continent.”
The United States carries out regular airstrikes in Somalia in support of a weak, United Nations-backed government in Mogadishu, which has fought al-Shabaab for years.
“Al-Shabaab kills regularly and indiscriminately,” said Miguel Castellanos, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of operations after Saturdays prevision airstrike which killed two terrorists and wounded one other.
“This al-Qaeda affiliate exploits innocent Somalis, displaces families, and imposes illegal taxes through force and violence,” he continued in a statement. “They want to export their vision of destruction more widely. It is our collective international efforts and persistent pressure that prevents this from occurring.”
AFRICOM said that Somalia is a key “security environment” in the region and its long-term stability is a necessity to advancing U.S. interests in East Africa. It added that it will continue to coordinate with the Somalia government in its effort to “bring improved governance, development, and stability” to the Somali people.
It said that al-Shabaab had expressed a desire to attack U.S. interests, but pressure placed on the al-Qaeda affiliate has left it incapable of striking the U.S. homeland.