US raids killed 40 militants in Somalia: Pentagon
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Monday that US forces had killed 40 Shabaab and Daesh ighters in a series of strikes on Somalia that began late last week.
The US military has launched ive strikes since Thursday on jihadist positions in the Horn of Africa country, killing 36 members of the Al Qaeda afiliated Shabaab group and four from the Daesh group, said Colonel Rob Manning, a spokesman.
“In co-ordination with the federal government of Somalia, US forces conducted ive airstrikes in Somalia against Shabaab and Daesh, from Nov.9 to Nov.12, removing more than 40 terrorists from the battleield,” Manning said.
The strikes were carried out by the US Africa Command, and followed two devastating attacks attributed to militants in Mogadishu that left about 385 people dead last month.
The surge in US operations came after President Donald Trump in March loosened the constraints on the US military to take actions against alleged terrorists when they judge it is needed, without seeking speciic White House approval.
A pair of US drone strikes that killed several militants on November 3 marked the irst time American forces hit Daesh group ighters in Somalia.
In an unrealted development, oficials in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland counted votes from a presidential election on Tuesday, with a social media blackout expected to last several days until results are announced.
The northern territory, which declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, hopes its third presidential election will bolster its democratic credentials and strengthen the case for independence from its troubled neighbour.
The counting process “may take a couple of days before it inishes and the result is announced, it can be between 16th and 18th of this month,” said election commission chairman Abdikadir Iman Warsame.
No incidents of violence, unrest or disruption were reported during the day’s voting on Monday.
Three candidates are vying for the state’s top ofice: seasoned politicians Muse Bihi of the ruling Kulmiye party and opposition leaders Abdirahman Iro and Faysal Ali Warabe, who was defeated in a previous election in 2010.
Incumbent ahmed mo ha muds ila an yo is not seeking re-election.