US conducts first airstrike under Biden in Somalia

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The United States has carried out an airstrike against al-Shabab militants in Galkayo, northern Somalia.

The airstrike which was conducted on Tuesday is the first since President Joe Biden took office.

Defense Department Spokeswoman Cindi King said the US was supporting the Somali army that was under attack by the militants.

“There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation,” King said in a statement, adding that “U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under collective self defense.”

The last airstrike in Somalia was Jan. 19, just before Biden was inaugurated as President.

King said an assessment of the damage was still being done but initial reports were that no civilians were injured.

Immediate past president,  Donald Trump, had increased airstrikes in Somalia during his tenure. Just before he left office, he ordered that 700 special forces be deployed to Somalia be withdrawn.

However, President Biden has limited the use of drone strikes outside the US.




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