The U.S., since 2007, has been conducting a covert program to target and kill Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab’s commanders and operatives based in Somalia.
Based on events recorded on Strategic Intelligence (SI) Counter-terrorism Database and backed by data from open sources, predominant media reports and from the U.S. headquarters responsible for the war in Somalia, Africa Command or AFRICOM, U.S. has escalated it air sorties targeting Al-Shabaab dens and hideouts across the regions of Somalia.
The U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been conducting out air strikes and ground raids in Somalia for about ten years, however, it has been conducting covert operations against Al-Qaeda terrorist network in East Africa, and its local affiliate Al-Shabaab, since the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
U.S. deployed troops on the ground for surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations.
Its first air raids began in 2007 with helicopters and AC-130 gunships, while In June 2011, the U.S. began carrying out drone strikes in Somalia.
In 2014 the frequency of U.S. air raids in Somalia increased as the Pentagon started giving African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) air support, targeting Al-Shabaab combatants who threatened the African troops and their U.S. advisors.
The U.S. regularly pounds Al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Mogadishu, a frequent target of the terrorist group.
So far, U.S. in support of the Federal Government Forces has conducted a total of 22 airstrikes in Somalia this year, all of which have targeted Al-Shabaab. In 2017, it conducted 31 strikes against Al-Shabaab, a record high and expected to exceed this year.
Also, two incidences of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS terrorists were recorded in 2017 in Puntland region of Somalia.
Despite U.S. military operations and AMISOM supports to the Somali security forces, Al-Shabaab continues to hold control on rural areas and small towns in southern and central Somalia.