A U.S. airstrike in has killed 13 Islamic State fighters in northern Somalia, U.S. Africa Command stated Thursday.
The Wednesday, May 8 airstrike focused an ISIS encampment in the Golis mountains, the Thursday press release declared.
“We are helping our Somali and AMISOM partners with enhanced, mature intelligence sharing,” claimed Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence.
“There is an intentional campaign underway, which is intelligence-driven, that capitalizes on what we understand during every operation and then rapidly leveraging that information to drive the next operation, including discovering where terrorists may be training, massing, and preparing to commit atrocities.”
AFRICOM claimed it trusted 13 ISIS fighters were killed in the airstrike, and no civilians were killed or injured.
The strike comes much less than a month after the command declared it executed an airstrike that killed Abdulhakim Dhuqub, who is recognized as the second-in-command of Islamic State in Somalia.
Formed in October 2015, Abnaa ul-Calipha was identified by ISIS central as an official wilayat, or province, in December 2017 and it was called Islamic State Somalia province.
The group operates in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia and is calculated to have around 300 active fighters. Abnaa ul-Calipha is a splinter group from al-Shabaab, and the latter has ordered the killing of defectors. U.S. Africa Command began performing airstrikes against the group in November 2017.
U.S. forces partner with Somali national security forces in counterterrorism operations and have held frequent raids and drone strikes on al-Shabaab training camps throughout Somalia.
American strikes in Somalia surged in April 2017 after President Donald Trump announced southern Somalia an “area of active hostilities,” the rights group Amnesty International claimed last month.
Africom has executed 30 airstrikes in Somalia in 2019, compared to 47 in 2018 and 35 in 2017.