In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab fighters on the morning of December 24, 2017, in southern Somalia, killing 13.
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 restrictions on the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes against al-Shabaab in Somalia. The airstrike, marks the approximately 30th 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 the United States, its partners and interests, and deny safe haven to terrorist groups. This includes partnering with AMISOM 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. Together with other international partners, the United States is committed to providing Somali, AMISOM and SNSF with support in the fight against violent extremist organizations.” – U.S. AFRICOM (United States Africa Command)
– Stages of War