U.S. carries out first airstrikes against ISIS in Somalia

Nov 04, 2017, 00:55

The US Army has reportedly conducted two air strikes on ISIS targets in Somalia, hitting the village of Buqa in the northern state of Puntland.

The US now maintains a small force unit of about 50 troops in Somalia, mainly to advise and assist Somalia and African Union mission in battling militants of Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaida-affiliated terrorist group in Somalia.

The U.S. military has been involved in Somalia for quite some time-conducting at least 60 strikes there since 2007-though America is not officially at war in the country.

US forces also carried out several airstrikes in September against ISIS in Libya, which USA and Libyan forces ousted from its stronghold in Sirte in 2016.

The airstrikes were first reported by local press in Somalia.

But IS-linked fighters who have split from the Somalia-based al-Shabab in the past couple of years pose a growing threat, notably in a part of the country far from al-Shabab's strongholds in the south.

Earlier this year, the White House granted the United States military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Shabaab.

More than 350 people were killed by a truck bomb in Mogadishu in October.

Photo President Trump said on Twitter that his administration had attacked the Islamic State "much harder" over the past two days.

But official numbers from the Pentagon do not suggest a significant increase in strikes against ISIS. Newsweek reached out to AFRICOM for more on this but did not hear back by the time of publication.

The warnings came after four US soldiers were killed in Niger during an ambush by ISIS-affiliated militants. An ISIS-linked group, ISIS in the Greater Sahara, has been blamed for this deadly incident.

These are the first American military strikes against ISIS, which has developed a small presence in the Horn of Africa.

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