Somalia: Washington Ratifies its Military Presence in Somalia with Air Strike

AFGHANISTAN ?? An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial attack vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson, Released)

A US air raid announced today that killed 13 members of the Islamist group Al Shabab confirmed the strengthening of Washington”s military presence in this African country.

The bombing of the northern country by drones, which was confirmed by its Command for Africa, destroyed positions of the fundamentalist organization in the south, shortly after a Washington announcement about the reinforcement of its troops here.

The operation was at about 50 kilometers northwest of Kismayo, a port city disputed several years ago between Al Shabab and Kenyan forces that back Amisom, and increased the ratio of more than 30 US attacks with drones this year in Somalia.

A recent statement from Washington confirmed its policy of supporting and training local forces to replace the African Union Mission (Amisom) in its fight against the Islamists, whose troops began withdrawing from the country in the last few hours and will abandon it completely in 2020.

Al Shabab, a phrase that means ‘the youngsters’ in Arabic, emerged in 2006 as the radical wing of the defunct Islamic Courts Council, was linked in 2012 to Al Qaeda and struggles to impose a caliphate based on Islamic law or Sharia.

This organization controls territories of the center and south of the country, from where it carries out frequent actions against civil and governmental installations that also extend to Kenya, in retaliation because the Nairobi Army fights its militias in Somali territory since 2011.