- United States is planning to intensify drone strikes as part of counterterrorism efforts in East Africa and especially in the war torn Somalia.
- US to launch anti-terror activities by unmanned aircraft that left key Al Shabaab leaders including its Chief Ahmed Abdi Godane dead.
- The move to increase drone attacks has been welcomed by former Somali Defense Minister Abdihakin Fiqi acknowledging that US military and Somalia have in the past shared intelligence and monitoring of Al Shabaab activities.
- Al Shabaab suffered huge operational loss when US drone strikes raided on encampment in southern Somalia killing their Chief, Ahmed Abdi Godane in September, 2014.
- Al Shabaab is being fought from all angles; last Sunday, Ethiopian attack helicopters targeted four Al Shabaab technical leaders with missiles in Gadon village, about 4km off Masagaway in Galgaduud region.
While addressing the local media, Fiqi told VOA Somali Service that drones are operated with high precision over the course of a known area of target thus has minimal civilian casualties.
United States remains a strategic security ally, helping UN-backed national government weaken and oust the militants grip on the few areas in central and southern Somalia.
During President Obama’s visit to Kenya recently, the US air force liaised with the Kenyan military on how they will strengthen Kenya-Somalia border to bar possible infiltration besides backing up Kenya Defence Forces operations in Jubba and Gedo regions in Southwestern Somalia.
Summary & Forecast
Somali government forces alongside African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) have secured victories against Al Shabaab militants and took back control of key towns in southwestern Somalia.
Changing of counter insurgency as well as counter-terrorism policies will greatly help in eliminating the Harakat al Shabaab al Mujahideen remnants from the areas they are still holding.
Close intelligence cooperation between the US and all forces inside Somalia will stabilize in the region as well as for Somalia immediate neighbours.
Though this may be seen as short-term solution, it will lay ground for the implementation of lasting security policies that would ensure that East African countries and broader horn of Africa vitiates domestic terrorist activities besides stifling transnational terrorism within the region.