LASANOD, Somalia – In a major victory, forces of the SSC administration of Sool captured the main military base of Somaliland on the outskirts of Lasanood after a battle that lasted less than 4 hours on Friday.
The SSC troops were able to take control of Somaliland’s stronghold in Maraaga and the large Goja’adde base. The SSC-Khatumo administration displayed vehicles, weapons and ammunition that Somaliland forces abandoned as they fled the captured base.
This is the biggest triumph for the SSC administration since fighting erupted between the sides in February. The defeated Somaliland forces retreated to Dhodida in the northwest, regrouping after the unexpected defeat.
A spokesperson for the SSC-Khatumo administration, now headquartered in Lasaanood, said they achieved a major victory on Friday by capturing all nearby Somaliland military outposts and seizing their war vehicles, weapons and ammunition stocks.
Somaliland had rejected repeated calls, including from the United Nations Security Council, to withdraw from Sool. For eight months, Somaliland forces stationed near Lasaanood had been firing artillery and bombarding hospitals and infrastructure.
The defeat came amid a political crisis and violence in Hargeisa after Muse Bihi failed to hold presidential elections. Analysts say Somaliland will struggle to recover from this blow, and may have to cede control of Sool entirely.