The U.S. military launched an air strike on Shebab jihadists allied with Al Qaeda on Tuesday, the first time since President Joe Biden took office in late January, that we have learned from the Pentagon.
Military Command for Africa (Africa) “carried out an air strike near Calcutta today”, Pentagon spokeswoman Cindy AFP said, 700 km northeast of Mogadishu.
The strike has targeted Shebab Islamists and the outcome of the operation is being assessed, with Shebabs and government forces continuing to fight, a spokesman said.
“The initial results of the order are that no civilian was injured or killed by this strike,” he added.
It was the first airstrike by the U.S. military in Somalia since January 19, which claimed to have killed three Shebab jihadists in two separate attacks, the Jamaat of Africa (south) and Deb Chinnele (north of Mogadishu).
Biden controls the use of drones
After arriving at the White House the next day, Joe Biden restricted the use of drones against jihadi groups outside the war zones where the United States was officially involved, modifying the policy of his predecessor Donald Trump, the military in countries such as Somalia and Libya that he had given Carde Blanche.
In March, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby submitted to the White House that any planned strike against jihadist groups outside of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq would be carried out before the execution.
Former President Donald Trump, since the beginning of his decree in 2016, has eased restrictions on Barack Obama’s use of arms against jihadi groups, saying “trust (his) commanders.”
Drone strikes have risen from 11 bombings in Somalia in 2015 to 64 in 2019 and 54 in 2020, according to special organization Airwars.
Shortly before he left office, Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of about 700 Special Forces soldiers stationed in Somalia.
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