July 25, 2024

U.S. airstrike kills 5 al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia

A U.S. airstrike on Wednesday killed five al-Shabaab fighters near Bacadweyne, Somalia.

The U.S.-Africa Command (AFRICOM) said that the self-defense strike, approximately 460 km northwest of Mogadishu, the capital, was at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab.

“Given the remote location of the operation, the command assesses that no civilians were injured or killed,” AFRICOM wrote.

It added, “Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has publicly stated that economic reform, social and political reconciliation, and religious tolerance are key pillars of his strategy to mobilize society against international terrorist. Military actions are just one part of the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to comprehensively address their security challenges.

“The U.S. is one of several countries providing humanitarian aid, stabilization efforts, economic development, and military assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia in their ongoing campaign.

“U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners — diplomacy, development and defense. This three-pronged, or “3D” approach brings together multiple agencies from within the U.S. government to increase cooperation and support for partner-led, U.S.-enabled solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism.

“Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces train, advise, and assist partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.

“U.S. Africa Command and partner forces will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.”

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Juan Francisco Sanchez Gonzalez

Si bien entiendo que el objetivo de este ataque aéreo era combatir a al-Shabaab, no puedo evitar preocuparme por el posible impacto que pueda haber tenido en la población civil de la zona. Aunque AFRICOM afirma que no hubo civiles afectados, siempre hay un riesgo de daño colateral en este tipo de operaciones. Además, me preocupa que estos ataques aéreos puedan perpetuar el ciclo de violencia en la región y dificultar los esfuerzos para lograr una paz duradera. Me gustaría ver a los líderes internacionales trabajando juntos para abordar las causas subyacentes del extremismo y la violencia, en lugar de simplemente recurrir a la fuerza militar