The United States says none of its personnel, nor those of its partners in Somalia, were injured on Monday when a car bomb attack happened at the Baledogle Military Airfield – but the attack was cause for a U.S. response.
“This attack, though ineffective, demonstrates the direct threat al-Shabaab poses to Americans, our allies, and interests in the region,” said Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “Incidents like this will not compromise the pressure being placed on this terrorist network by the Federal Government of Somalia and international partners.”
AFRICOM confirmed that two airstrikes followed the attempt to gain access to the Baledogle compound, and forces engaged the al-Shabaab militants with small arms fire. Ten of the terrorists were killed in the incident, which also left a vehicle destroyed.
The U.S. says no civilians were injured or killed in the retaliatory strikes, which has been a point of contention over the U.S. presence in Somalia. The U.S. reiterated that its efforts are meant to deter terrorists while securing conditions for the Horn of Africa nation to return to a civilian government.
“The desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations are not able to destabilize Somalia or its neighbors or threaten the U.S. homeland, U.S. citizens, or our international allies,” it said.
A second al-Shabaab attack on Monday targeted a convoy of Italian military personnel who are part of a European Union training mission in Somalia. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Image: AFRICOM file