Somalia

In the midst of festivities leading into Independence Day, the U.S. opportuned the distraction to bomb yet another sovereign nation in the name of fighting terrorism, launching airstrikes against al-Shabaab militants rebelling against the U.N.-backed Somali government headed by U.S. citizen, President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed.

These strikes on Sunday follow the granting of expanded powers to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) by President Trump earlier this year, and seems to be the second of its kind.

“We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate,” AFRICOM spokesman Chuck Prichard asserted Monday.

Following the airstrikes, AFRICOM spokesman Patrick Barnes also noted, “U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the federal government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and our AMISOM partners in defeating al-Shabab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia.”

AMISOM, the African Union Mission, is a coalition of East African nations supporting the U.S. in an effort to quash al-Shabaab in Somalia — which it has reportedly done for years.

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Pentagon officials refused to provide details about Sunday’s strike — including an exact location or what target was hit — but described it as similar to another which took place mid-June.

State-run Voice of America reports, “Local sources said the strike on Sunday targeted vehicles in Kunya Barrow, in the lower Shabelle region. Sources also said the strike was conducted against a high-ranking al-Shabab militant, without going into further detail.”

According to Reuters, “Since being pushed out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011, al Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns. But it retains a strong presence in swathes of the south and center and carries out major gun and bomb attacks.

“The group aims to topple Somalia’s government, drive out African Union peacekeeping troops and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.”

Allied with al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab — which means “The Youth” in Arabic — “emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia’s now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled Mogadishu in 2006, before being forced out by Ethiopian forces,” the BBC described in December.

“There are numerous reports of foreign jihadists going to Somalia to help al-Shabab, from neighbouring countries, as well as the US and Europe. It is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK and is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters.

“Al-Shabab advocates the Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis.”

U.S. ground troops were deployed to Somalia earlier this year — for the first time since 1994 — nearly a quarter century. Al-Shabaab vacated capital city, Mogadishu, in 2011, but has retained control over significant areas, posing serious risk to the weak regime of the president installed by the U.S. in February.

According to the U.S. Military, the first such drone strike had been conducted on June 11, killing eight militants, and a Navy Seal was killed in May in a joint operation with Somali government forces against the al-Qaeda-allied group.

“The United States military has been training and advising African Union and Somali government forces in the country while becoming more directly involved in its civil war for the past several years,” the New York Times reports.

“Soon after Mr. Trump took office, the Defense Department proposed an escalation of force against the Shabab. The Pentagon wanted Mr. Trump to declare parts of Somalia to be an area of active hostilities, exempting it from the need to obey special targeting limits, known as the Presidential Policy Guidance, that President Barack Obama imposed in 2013 for counterterrorism strikes outside conventional war zones.

“In late March, Mr. Trump signed off on the Pentagon’s proposal to exempt much of Somalia from the 2013 limits, clearing the way for the American military to carry out purely offensive strikes, and without going through interagency vetting.”

In other words, AFRICOM has essentially an unfaltering green light to act aggressively in Somalia — a nation also in the grips of stultifying famine, putting six million people in danger — in order to rein in al-Shabaab.

Despite having received expanded authority, General Thomas D. Waldhauser, head of AFRICOM, has exercised extreme caution in carrying out drone strikes — vowing to greatly reduce or eliminate civilian casualties incidental to targeted actions.

Minimal reporting and limited information from the Pentagon leave a number of details about the Sunday morning strike unknown or murky, including whether or not there were civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, the bulk of Americans will continue celebrating Independence Day, unaware or apathetic when the nation whose flag many consider a sacred sign of freedom instead means death, misery, and destruction from above in places like Somalia and Syria.

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Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
  • John C Carleton

    Today i am flying the Flag of Texas, occupied by Washington DC for 151 years years.

    Under that i am flying the First National Flag Of the Confederacy.

    Today i honor my cousins and GG uncle murdered by Washington DC.

    Today, i honor my cousins, G grandfather, three gg grandfathers who made it through the Evil of the Zionist Washington DC’s war criminal years, only to live the rest of their lives as an occupied people in an occupied country.

    Today i say the evil of Washington DC must cease to exist in America, so Americans can again know liberty.

    • Guy

      What would you prefer John ? Anarchy and revolution to be the solution to your unhappiness ? As the difference could have been you and your past relatives, presently speeking, or had spoken, in a variety of other languages instead. Like Japanese or German, or even Spanish in Texas, with perhaps a trace of the Russian or Chinese dialect, thrown in for good measure as well.

      I salute you for honoring the past of your patronage, but encourage you to remember that a lot of people have died, so you can be a *Free Thinker,* Happy Independence Day !

      • John C Carleton
        • Guy

          Wow ! Okay I have been schooled into what your feelings are for the US. OF. A.

          You are certainly entitled to your opinion, considering that comes from you, no doubt being an American Citizen protected by its Constitution, the same as me.

          I understand, and not going to get in a political debate over it. I also know that there are plenty of skeletons in our Country’s Closet to give everyone a heart attack, nor offering a excuse for em either.

          But I do wonder, why do you bother to live here in a Country that apparently makes you so unhappy ? Would you not be better off living somewhere else that dosen’t, that can offer you the same freedoms and latitude for “Freedom Of Thought and expression, without the political crap that seems to mess you up, who dosen’t even bother with to having all of the Political Intrigue attachments, that we seem to have. I understand there are quite a few areas within Mexico and Central South America, that have rather nice American Retirement Enclaves, just full of good folks, living on small amounts of money and living the American dream, sort of.

          • John C Carleton

            I live in occupied Texas. That doesn’t make me an USA crime cabal citizen. I live in Texas as that is my country. Why should i tuck my tail and run? Why not kick the baby raping scum out of my country and stay in my country which the USA has no right to be occupying?
            Is that to deep for you to understand?

            Should the Syrians leave their country because the zionist scum are trying to occupy it, or kick the evil SOB’s out?

            Should the Palestinians kick the baby raping zionist criminals out of their country, or tuck their tail and run?

      • John C Carleton

        A women is supposed to be grateful for getting raped? The family of the murdered children, are supposed to thank the murder?

        Perhaps the parents of the raped and Dead Syrian, Afghanistan, Iraqi, Japanese. Iranian, Yemen, Philippine, children, should thank Uncle Sugars pedophilic ass that someone else did not rape and murder their children? Ungrateful people.

      • John C Carleton

        I would prefer that the USA did not invade my country, murder my kin, occupy my country for 151 years.

      • John C Carleton

        Anarchy is the absence of slavery.
        Learn some history.
        Japanese wanted to trade with the US, But FDR, wanted to drag USA into a war, that was a USURY bankers war. American did not want to be in that war. FDR had a plan to sink a US Destroyer, Blame it on the Japanese to get into the war, Admiral did not go for it, so FDR sacked the admiral, backed japan in a corner, knew the attack was coming and allowed thousands of Americans killed so he could drag America into a war which the American people did not want

        Hitler admired USA, wanted to keep on good terms, his eugenic polices were borrowed from USA, he just tweeted them a bit. German people did not want war with America, American people did not want war with Germany.

        I sang a song about my first ex wife in Spanish, today, at a get together, in Texas.

        Russia never intended to attack America, in fact, Russia as part of the USSR, won WW 2.

        Chinese have no desire to have more territory, but they are getting really tired of the US trying to take their land and make slaves of the Chinese people, for international bankers. They are also real tired of the USA trying to start a war with them.

      • John C Carleton

        Know why Mexico don’t have a decent Olympic team?

        Everyone who can run, jump or swim is already in Texas.

        Why? Because the USA occupation crime cabal, takes money from hard working Texans, and gives it to Mexico citizens to make babies and set on their ass in Texas.

      • John C Carleton