The Pentagon revealed Tuesday that an airstrike in the Middle East left at least 100 dead.
According to The Washington Times, the strike occurred 125 miles west of the Mogadishu, Somalia. The attack by the US military struck an al-Shabab terrorist training camp, leaving 100 terrorist fighters dead.
The attack is part of an aggressive counterterrorism campaign occurring in Somalia. The US is working closely with the Somali government to eradicate the terrorist groups that have taken root in the African nation.
Al-Shabab is currently waging an insurgency war that threatens to overthrow the Somali government, which could give rise to a more powerful terrorist movement similar to how ISIS came to power. Concerned, the US stepped in to assist the Somali government to combat the terrorists as part of its general effort to eradicate terrorism in the greater area.
US Africa Command issued a statement shortly after Tuesday’s airstrike saying this latest attack wouldn’t be the last: “US forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats.”
The airstrikes in Somalia against al-Shabab terrorists also come after Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken was killed during a Navy SEALs assault against a stronghold held by the terrorists. Weeks after his death, President Trump’s administration ordered that military efforts become more aggressive in Somalia.
According to the BBC, al-Shabab has committed brutal attacks and numerous atrocities as part of their rise to power. Believed to be at least 7,000 strong, these terrorists have terrorized areas in and around Somalia for over a decade.
It originated as a radical youth movement known then as the Union of Islamic Courts, which was in control of the Somalia capital Mogadishu before Ethiopian forces drove them out in 2006. Since then, they have acted as a terrorist insurgency, aided by foreign jihadists.
As the terrorist organization al-Shabab, they have terrorized northeastern African nations relentlessly. Their worst attack occurred on April 2, 2015, when gunmen from al-Shabab raided the Garissa University in Kenya killing 148 people, primarily targeting Christian students.
In 2013, they attacked the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi killing 68 people. Like in the university massacre, they primarily targeted Christians. Reports came in that they spared Muslims and killed anyone who couldn’t recite certain verses from the Koran.
These terrorists aren’t limited to targeting unarmed civilians. In January of 2016, they launched a massive raid against a Kenyan base in Somalia. According to reports from Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, around 180 soldiers were killed in the attack.
The Trump Administration has stepped-up its focus on eradicating terrorists in Africa. Will this help our fight against terrorism?
Much of their power was lost when al-Shabab forces lost control of the Kismayo seaport near Mogadishu. This port gave them control of the lucrative charcoal trade which funded much of al-Shabab’s activities. It’s believed that al-Shabab currently maintains ties with various al-Queda factions, which could be providing much of their funding now.
The last thing anyone wants is another terrorist organization rising to power after the fall of ISIS. These airstrikes are a means of keeping the terrorists at bay so local governments can establish their own control and one day handle the terrorism situation with their own might.