On 31st July 2018, Kenya Air force KAF, the air defense component of the country Defense Forces KDF, conducted an air strike in Somalia’s South Western prefecture of Gedo using the Northrop Grumman F-5 Tiger bomber aircraft. The air strike targeted a newly established militia barracks operated by the Al-Qaeda offshoot Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen movement HSM. S.I Initial damage assessment shows the barracks was completely destroyed and approximately 17 militants killed. The airstrike comes barely a week after the terror group took control of Somali Army barracks outside Luuq, near the border with Kenya and a build up outside El-Wak on the Somali side.
Kenya Air Force (KAF) continues to demonstrate capability to conduct long range strikes targeting the terror group in Somalia. The airstrikes are meant to destroy and downgrade the terrorists capability and strength. Taking things a step further, the Kenya army troops have targeted the militant’s base in Somalia that the border incursions are operated out of. These kinetic operations are meant to preempt the encroachment of Kenyan territory by Jihadists.
By overrunning SNA bases in Gedo, Shabaab intends to establish and restore previous training camps and financial systems to strengthen their rank and file in Gedo. This is a threat to Kenya’s interior since the terror group continues to exploit the porous North Eastern Province border and clan networks to its advantage. Intelligence warns of continued growth and movement of platoon size terror cells along the frontier. Increased army surveillance and reconnaissance operations demonstrate the willingness to stymie this escalation and growth. The latest events demonstrates Kenya’s Defense Ministry willingness to increase operations against the militants .