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U.S. strikes al-Shabab in Somalia

By Allen Cone
U.S. strikes al-Shabab in Somalia
The United States conducted an airstrike against against al-Shabab about 185 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, the Pentagon said Sunday. Google Maps screenshot

June 11 (UPI) -- U.S. forces conducted an airstrike Sunday against al-Shabab militants in Somalia, the Pentagon announced.

The strike, which was coordinated with its regional partners, occurred about 185 miles southwest of the Mogadishu capital, Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement.

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Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said his nation's special forces attacked a training center for the militants near Sakow, a district in the Middle Juba region.

"The mission which was successfully ended, destroyed an important training camp where the group used to organize violent operations," Mohamed said in a statement. "This undermines their ability to mastermind more attacks."

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Neither statement mentioned casualties.

On Thursday, the al-Qaida-linked militant group attacked a military base in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, killing 61 soldiers.

Since 2007, al-Shabab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia. The group was forced from the capital by African Union troops in 2011, but maintained a presence in Somalia's rural areas.

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In March, President Donald Trump authorized the Defense Department to conduct legal strikes against al-Shabab within a geographically defined area of active hostilities, White said.

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"We remain committed to working with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabab, and help achieve stability and security throughout the region," White said.

Trump has ordered more troops to Somali.

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On May 4, a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in a nighttime raid in Somalia in what is believed to be the first U.S. military death in combat there since 18 died in the First Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down attempting to take militia leaders in Somalia's capital. The film Black Hawk Down is based on the combat.

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