US army denies launching airstrike in Somalia as militants killed
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The US Africa Command [AFRICOM] has denied carrying airstrikes in Ballow and Jambalul village in Somalia on Monday, following reports that the Somali National Army [SNA] benefited from aerial bombardments as they battled with Al-Shabaab militants.
In an interview with the Voice of America, the US Africa Command, which is largely responsible for aerial assistance in Somalia, said it did not participate in Monday's operation, which saw the SNA troops attack the villages, located between Afgoye and Bala'ad towns.
This year, the US Africa Command has carried a total of seven airstrikes against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, but none has been undertaken throughout the period Joe Biden has been serving as president of the United States of America.
Somali army radio is reported an operation by the government forces, supported by an airstrike, in Ballow and Jambalul villages, between Afgoye and Bal’ad towns, adding that 25 militants were killed, 15 injured during the sophisticated operation.
There have been concerns within Somalia over the US recent approach on airstrikes, with senior military officials saying lack of airstrikes world gives room for Al-Shabaab resurgence. The airstrikes, they argue, have been critical in neutralizing the militants.
John Kirby, Pentagon's press secretary says the Biden administration has given guidance to drone strikes across the world, adding that the US will continue working closely with her partners in the fight against the militants.
"We're clearly still going to be committed to working with international partners to counter those threats," he says. "It doesn't mean a cessation, "It just means that the authorities to conduct some of these operations in some parts of the world, they're going to get visibility at the National Security Council level".
The US Africa Command withdrew her troops from the Horn of Africa nation much to the detriment of Somali authorities. But the troops are said to be now working from Djibouti and Kenya, where the command uses as temporary headquarters in Africa.