MOGADISHU — The United States military conducted three airstrikes against Islamist militant group, Al-Shabaab, in Somalia early Wednesday, killing six terrorists.
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said the precision strikes took place at 2:15 a.m. (23:00 GMT) in southern Somalia, about 260 kilometers south of the capital, Mogadishu.
“The United States conducted this operation within the parameters of the authorities granted by the President in March 2017, which allows U.S. forces to conduct lethal action against Al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area in support of partner forces in Somalia,” Africom said in a statement.
Before the new authorization was granted, the U.S. military could only carry out defensive airstrikes against Al-Shabaab in situations where Somali troops and their U.S. advisers came under fire.
Al-Shabaab has been an Al-Qaida affiliate since 2012. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by a number of nations, including the United States and Britain.
Africom said Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world.
“Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the United States and our partners in the region,” it said.
Africom said U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and disable terrorist threats.
“This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world,” the military said.