US military targets ISIS-Somalia in fifth airstrike since April
The U.S. targeted ISIS fighters in Somalia for the fifth time since mid-April, killing two terrorists in an airstrike Wednesday, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.
“Our efforts to locate and eradicate ISIS leaders who control a range of activities — from operations to financing and communications — is hitting at the heart of the organization and disrupting their ability to continue their terrorist activities,” Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, the director of intelligence of U.S. Africa Command, said in a statement Thursday.
The recent series of strikes against ISIS-Somalia have taken place in the Golis Mountains, located in the northern part of the country.
U.S. Africa Command said in April that a strike in the same area killed the organization’s second in command.
There have been 37 U.S. airstrikes in Somalia so far this year, mostly targeting the al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab, compared to 47 strikes in all of 2018. The U.S. estimates that ISIS-Somalia commands about 150 fighters, making it one of the smaller affiliates of the terror group. The Pentagon has about 500 to 600 personnel in Somalia, where they primarily advise local troops battling al-Shabaab.