U.S. conducts Somali airstrike against al-Shabab, kills four

By Susan McFarland  |  Jan. 19, 2018 at 10:57 AM
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Jan. 19 (UPI) -- In support of the Somali government, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants, killing four terrorists, U.S. Africa Command said Friday.

No civilians were killed during the strike, which happened Thursday about 30 miles northwest of the coastal city of Kismayo, according to a U.S. news release.

"U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats," U.S. Africa Command said in its statement. Al-Shabab is a militant Islamist group, particularly active in the nation's rural parts, that has attempted to oust the Somali government since 2007.

U.S. commanders said their forces will continue to partner with African Union Mission in Somalia and Somali National Security Forces in counterterrorism operations, "targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region."

President Donald Trump authorized the U.S. military in March to engage al-Shabab militants in a hostile part of Somalia.

The U.S. began separately targeting the Islamic State in Somalia in November, with the first airstrike killing "several" militants.

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