The United States on Tuesday carried out a drone strike against militants of the Somali armed group Al Shabaab, in the first aerial attack against members of the Islamist militia linked to Al Qaeda since the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term in office.
Pentagon spokeswoman Cindi King said that the attack was carried out by military aircraft against fighters of the group who were attacking members of the Danab Brigade, a Somali Army commando trained by the United States.
Specifically, the military action was carried out this Tuesday around 11.00 a.m. (local time) by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) near the town of Galkayo, in the north of the country, King said, according to ‘The New York Times’.
He also indicated that U.S. trainers were alerting Danab commandos remotely when the militia attack took place, so “there were no U.S. forces accompanying the Somali forces during the operation.
The Pentagon spokeswoman also noted that fighting between Al Shabaab and Somali forces had delayed the assessment of the airstrike against members of the armed group, the seventh in 2021 but the first since the Biden Administration began in January.
After his arrival at the White House, Biden initiated a review of the policy on drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional war zones and imposed some time limits on these military actions.
The U.S. president took this position after former President Donald Trump had relaxed the rules for drone strikes during his term in office, reports ‘The Hill’.
In this regard, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in March that any attack planned outside Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq should be submitted to the White House “to ensure that the president has full visibility on significant proposed actions.”
In this case, King has stressed that White House approval was not needed because AFRICOM has the authority to conduct strikes in support of allied forces under what the military calls collective self-defense.