The U.S. military on Tuesday conducted an air strike against an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia, the first such strike in the country since President Biden took office, multiple outlets have reported.
The strike on the al-Shabaab militant group, first reported by Agence France-Presse, took place “in the vicinity of Galkayo, Somalia,” about 430 miles northeast of Mogadishu, Pentagon spokeswoman Cindi King said in a statement to the outlet.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) carried out the single air strike in coordination with the Somali government.ADVERTISEMENT
“A battle-damage assessment is still pending due to the ongoing engagement between al-Shabaab and Somali forces, however, the command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this strike,” King added.
The Somali government also confirmed the strike in a statement, noting that it occurred at 11:05 a.m. local time in the Galmudug State of the country “to protect the brave commandos of the Somali National Army.”
The government did not say who carried out the action.
The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.”The last U.S. air strike in Somalia took place on Jan. 19, one day before President Biden entered the White House.
Following Biden’s inauguration, he initiated a review of the policy on drone strikes and commando raids outside of conventional war zones and imposed temporary limits on such strikes.
The move came after former President Donald Trump had loosened the rules for drone strikes when he was in office.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby then told reporters in March that any planned strikes outside Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq had to be submitted to the White House “to ensure that the president has full visibility on proposed significant actions.”