In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike on Al-Shabaab insurgents after they attacked a Somali patrol northwest of Kismayo, Lower Juba Province, Somalia on Sept. 17, AFRICOM said in a press release Wednesday.
At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed two terrorists, the Africa command said, adding it is assessing that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
AFRICOM will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States, the press release added.
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.
The airstrike was launched as the AFRICOM commander General Stephen Townsend was undertaking his first multi-country regional visit to West Africa.
He already visited Mali on Monday and Burkina Faso on Tuesday.
While in Bamako, Townsend met with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and senior Malian military leaders to discuss defense and security-related issues related to the complex and evolving threat environment in the Sahel.
Townsend also met with leaders of the G5 Sahel Joint Task Force. This African-led organization, comprising five countries, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania, was set up to respond to transnational security, humanitarian, and development challenges in the Sahel.
US military funding to the G5 Sahel Joint Force provides equipment, training, and advisory support to allow G5 members to operate, protect, and maintain mobile infantry forces in their fight against violent extremist groups in the region. In addition to the Joint Force support, AFRICOM provides bilateral assistance to strengthen the military, justice, and law enforcement capabilities of the G5 partners.