U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab fighters in the early evening hours on Friday, December 15, 2017, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo, killing eight fighters and destroying one vehicle.
Kismayo is a port city in southern Somalia, which was formerly a al-Shabaab stronghold, was recaptured by the Somali National Army in 2012. However, the area 30 miles northwest of the city, in which the airstrike occurred, remains a known staging area of al-Shabaab fighters.
During 2016 al-Shabaab has significantly expanded the areas under its control and has killed hundreds of African Union and Somali forces while overrunning bases in southern Somalia.
Consequently, earlier in 2017, the Trump administration loosened the restrictions on the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes against al-Shabaab in Somalia. Friday’s airstrike, marks the approximately 29th airstrike in 2017, up from approximately 15 in 2016 and only approximately 3 in 2015.
“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM (African Union Mission to Somalia) and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region.” – U.S. AFRICOM (United States Africa Command)
– Stages of War