News / Africa

Somali Leaders Welcome US Drone Strike Against al-Shabab

Somalia's government welcomed Monday's drone strike that targeted leaders of the militant group al-Shabab.  

The U.S. military confirmed Tuesday that the air strike targeted al-Shabab's number-one commander, Ahmed Abdi Godane, but it's not yet confirmed whether he was killed.  

Hours after the U.S. claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities in the capital, Mogadishu, held an urgent Cabinet meeting to discuss the latest security operations.

After the meeting the officials said they welcomed the drone strike.

Government spokesman Ridwaan Hajji Abdiweli told reporters the government supports any operations against the militant group.

"The target of this operation were the key commanders of the al-Shabab," Abdiweli said. "Such attacks will continue because it’s only the Somali government that has the authority to govern this nation and not terrorist groups like the al-Shabab."

Al-Shabab has neither confirmed nor denied reports that its top leader, Abdi Ahmed Godane, was killed in the attack. If confirmed, his death would be a serious setback for al-Shabab.  

At least six people were reportedly killed in the drone strike, which took place in Sablale, an agricultural town in southern Somalia. The town is 60 kilometers from Barawe, the last remaining al-Shabab bastion in southern Somalia and a key port for the group.

Operation Indian Ocean

African Union forces in Somalia recently launched an offensive code named “Operation Indian Ocean."  

The stated goal is to seize ports from al-Shabab, cutting off crucial sources of revenue.

The deputy chief of defense of the Somali National Army says the operation will dislodge al-Shabab from many parts of the country and return normalcy to areas they have controlled.

"Just as the Somali population has taken up arms against al-Shabab, we want to work together," said General Abdirizak Khalif Elmi, "because we have the right to live like everyone else in the world and for our children to live in peace and freedom.
Al-Shabab has lost control of the many cities and towns it once controlled but still carries out major attacks in Mogadishu. The group has attacked the presidential palace twice this year, and killed six members of parliament.

The U.S. government has designated Godane as a terrorist, and two years ago offered  up to $7 million for information "that brings him to justice."


You May Like

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Nipee from: Paris
September 04, 2014 1:21 AM
I don't know why this media always remove Ilemi Triangle in South Sudan Map.

by: meanbill from: USA
September 03, 2014 1:17 PM
No matter how minimal the US help is, Somalia appreciates it, I'm sure?
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 03, 2014 9:27 PM
This is enormous US help and we, all conscious Somalis, wholeheartedly appreciate US support. We do expect US to do more to exterminate once for all these thuggish primitive fanatics of Al Shabaab. This barbarous group hold the entire nation hostage by killing women and children indiscriminately and by blowing up public infrastructures, traffic lights, hospitals' electric generators and lighthouses.
We also expect US to have a close look to our current government officials who amassed huge amount of aid money into their offshore account.These official are our public enemy number TWO.
According to recent UN report about 78% of aid money from Western countries ended up into deep pockets of our ruthless greedy politicians. US should freeze on these bank accounts and return the money to Somali people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs