Al Shabaab and ISIS fighters clashed on two instances with each other in Dhadaar and Sheebaab villages in the mountainous Somali region of Bari. The attack comes as al Shabaab increases its attacks on ISIS in an intra-jihadi war that began in late 2018.
Intelligence reports indicate that in a first attack, ISIS-Somalia fighters attacked their al Shabaab counterparts as they were lecturing villagers in an attempt to garner support in an area held by ISIS. The second clash occurred in Dhadaar a village which was entered by Shabaab. Al Shabaab asked locals about ISIS locations and hideouts, villagers still skeptical and they are confused with who is Al-Shabaab and who is ISIS. It appears ISIS separated themselves into small groups to prolong fighting.
The two groups have not only been fighting over the control of territory but have also been competing for collecting extortion money from Somali businesses. Reports indicate that al Shabaab smuggled fighters into the mountainous region in December during a major war that led to huge casualties in al Shabaab’s side. However, the fighting between the two groups may have taken a different turn seeing as al Shabaab seems to have fighters in Puntland which could be the center stage for a new wave of fighting between the two terrorist organizations.