World

US Carries Out 3 Drone Strikes in Somalia Over 24 Hour Period

US Carries Out 3 Drone Strikes in Somalia Over 24 Hour Period

In Somalia, 81 al-Shabaab militants have been killed in Jilib province in two separate operations by government forces.

A pair of USA drone strikes that killed several militants on November 3 marked the first time American forces hit Islamic State group fighters in Somalia.

"Prior to this strike, the US forces observed the Al-Shabaab combatant participating in the attacks on a USA and Somali convoy".

Al Shabaab militants continue to carry out deadly attacks in Somalia.

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The U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the strike occurred in Lower Shabelle region, some 20 miles north of the country's capital, Mogadishu. "We take all measures during the targeting process to painstakingly ensure that civilian casualties and collateral damages are avoided and that we comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict". It was Somalia's worst-ever attack and one of the world's deadliest in years. Al-Shabaab was blamed for the attack.

The third strike was against the Islamic State group in Somalia's northern Puntland area, she said. "The U.S. forces subsequently conducted the strike under collective self-defense authorities", it added. The first was earlier this month. Numerous fighters split off from al-Shabab.

The surge in U.S. operations came after President Donald Trump in March loosened the constraints on the USA military to take actions against alleged terrorists when they judge it is needed, without seeking specific White House approval.

While Somalia's president has vowed a "state of war" in response to last month's attack, concern is growing about the gradual security handover that has begun from a 22,000-strong African Union force to Somali national forces.