Friday Conflict MonitorsDespite having killed more than 20, the U.S. has been focusing attention on a series U.S. airstrikes in Somalia over recent months.
“If you were unaware that we were bombing Somalia, don’t feel bad, this is a completely under-the-radar news story, one that was curiously absent from the headlines in all of the major newspapers this morning,” wrote Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is a senior adviser at Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
On Wednesday, Antiwar.com’s Dave DeCamp reported The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), launched its second strike against Somalia within a week. AFRICOM said Initial assessment showed that the attack took place in Beledweyne. It killed 13 fighters of the al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant organization al-Shabaab.
AFRICOM also stated that it killed four al-Shabaab fighters in three separate airstrikes close to Beledweyne, two fighters in a joint U.S.-Somali operation on July 17 and five militants in a bombing outside Beer Xani on June 3.
All of these strikes occurred since U.S. president Joe Biden approved Redeployment of hundreds if not all of the special forces troops to Somalia in may, reverses a drawdown of war-ravaged nation under former President Donald Trump.
Airwars has already recorded two US airstrikes on Somalia so this month, suggesting that there may be an increase in strikes targeting militants.
We’ve documented a total of six strikes since May, following Biden’s decision to redeploy US troops: https://t.co/kimoRaCbE2
A brief thread pic.twitter.com/qQMm95iS1s
— Airwars (@airwars) August 19, 2022
DeCamp noted that Trump’s withdrawal from Somalia merely “repositioned troops in neighboring Djibouti and Kenya, allowing the drone war to continue. But Biden has launched significantly fewer strikes in Somalia compared to his predecessor.”
According to data from the U.K.-based monitor group Airwars, U.S. forces have bombed Somalia at least 16 times during Biden’s tenure, killing between 465 and 545 suspected militants. On March 13, a joint U.S.-Somali airstrike and drone struck Somalia. killed There are 200 alleged militants.
Airwars identified civilian casualties in just one of the attacks during Biden’s presidency, a June 2021 strike attributed to either U.S. or Kenyan forces, which have been battling al-Shabaab since 2011. According to local media reports, Sahro Adan Warsame was killed in the attack on Ceel Cadde in southern Africa. Five of her children were also seriously injured.
Since 2007, the U.S. military conducted 260 operations in Somalia. While the Pentagon has admitted to five civilian deaths and eleven injuries, Airwars claims that more than 3,010 militants were killed in a campaign it claimed killed them all. estimates U.S.-led attacks have resulted in the deaths of between 78 and153 civilians, including 20 to 23 children.
“Bottom line, it’s been a long time since the United States was Not bomb Somalia,” wrote Vlahos. “This comes after a particularly bloody period during the [so-called War on Terror] in which the CIA was using the country to detain and torture terror suspects from across North Africa.”
“Whether this has ultimately been a good thing for the country or for the broader security of the region, one need only to look at the continued instability and impoverishment of the people,” she added, “and of course, the persistent presence of al-Shabaab itself.”