US airstrikes target al-Shabab militants in Somalia
US airstrike in Somalia killed several Islamist militants
African Command reports the strike was in response to an attack on Allied forces
US Armed Forces reported airstrike in Puntland, Somalia, killing seven Islamic State militants.
Voice of America’s Somali service reported the airstrike on Tuesday. Local officials and witnesses said that Puntland regional forces conducted a ground operation against militants in Turmasala and Amayra, mountain hideouts near Timirche village, 140 kilometers southeast of Bossaso..
On Wednesday, the US African Command said the airstrike was carried out in response to a militant attack on partner forces..
“We continue to pressure terrorist groups and assist our Somali partners to disrupt their operations,” said Brigadier General of the US Army Miguel Castellanos, deputy chief of operations for Africa Command. “We continue to provide support to rid Somalia of groups like IS and Al-Shabab.”.
The African Command estimates that not a single civilian was injured in the airstrike. Since the beginning of the year, this is the 42nd airstrike by US forces in Somalia and the first attack on forces supporting IS.
Officials in Puntland issued their own statement announcing the elimination of 20 IS militants during a 48-hour operation in the eastern part of the Bari region. Puntland authorities say high-ranking local fighters and one high-ranking foreign fighter were among those killed in the operation..
The name of the deceased foreign fighter was not specified in the statement, but it is known that he was an instructor and intermediary between IS in Somalia and fighters of the group in other countries. He has been in Somalia since 2014.
Puntland Regional Forces also reportedly destroyed a warehouse where weapons, explosives and food were stored..
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