Somalia has already seen as much activity in 2019 from U.S. airstrikes as it did during all of last year.
However, reports now indicate the U.S. Air Force is ramping up to conduct even more airstrikes against terrorists in Somalia in the very near future.
The uptick in airstrikes is an effort by this administration to help the Somali government obliterate terrorists without risking the lives of American soldiers.
In 2018, a total of 47 airstrikes were launched in Somalia. So far in 2019, 47 airstrikes have already been conducted, with more on deck to occur soon.
Colonel Chris Karns, the spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, stated, “The 47 for 2019 are all in support of the Federal Government of Somalia.”
“It is imperative that pressure is maintained on violent extremist organizations to create conditions for further political and economic development in Africa,” he added.
Another Terrorist Gone
In the most recent airstrike, which was conducted on July 27, military officials believe a key ISIS member was killed while sustaining no civilian casualties.
The goal of these strikes is to keep ISIS off-balance while at the same time providing an opportunity for the local government to obtain a stronghold in the area.
In addition to these airstrikes, U.S. forces are working with local forces to fight these terrorists on the ground. As stated many times, such efforts would be wasted if local forces are not also engaging these terrorist forces.
The training being provided will put the local soldiers on a far different level from what ISIS and Al-Shabaab militants are used to dealing with when encountering local forces.
Karns echoed this sentiment, stating, “Education and economic opportunities are key to ultimately defeating and eroding the influence of groups like Al Shabaab. However, effective security underpins both.”
Without local cooperation, ISIS will never be defeated. But, when local government and citizens work in conjunction with U.S. forces, we are seeing ISIS successfully being driven back and, in many cases, completely eradicated from these areas.