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Pentagon Confirms US Airstrike Killed Al-Shabab Security Chief

The Pentagon has confirmed that a victim of a U.S. airstrike on Saakow, Somalia, was the chief of Islamic militant group al-Shabab's intelligence and security wing.

Timeline: US Airstrikes in Somalia

May 1, 2008: Former military leader of Aden Hashi Ayrow killed in Dhusamareb.

Sept. 14, 2009: Saleh Ali Nabhan, al-Qaida leader, suspected in 1998 US East Africa Embassy bombing, killed

Jan. 22, 2012: Drone strike kills British al-Qaida member Bilal Berjawi near Mogadishu

Feb. 24, 2012: Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Uhud, a Moroccan jihadi with al-Shabab, killed by drone strike near Afgoye

Oct. 28, 2013: Al-Shabab bomb maker Ibrahim Ali Abdi “Anta Anta” killed by drone strike near Jilib

Jan. 26, 2014: Drone strike kills Ahmed Abdulkadir Iskudhuuq, a senior Adviser to al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane

Sept. 1, 2014: Airstrikes kill Al-Shabab Emir Ahmed Abdi Godane near Sablale

Dec. 29, 2014: Drone strike kills Abdishakur Tahlil al-Shabab’s intelligence chief and head of Amniyat units

A U.S. Department of Defense statement Wednesday confirmed that a Hellfire missile strike on a vehicle killed al-Shabab security chief Tahlil Abdishakur on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman James Brindle said the death of Tahlil, who was responsible for al-Shabab's external operations, will have a significant impact on al-Shabab's ability to conduct attacks against the Somali government, the Somali people, and U.S. allies and interests.

The Pentagon first announced the airstrike Tuesday, saying the target was a senior al-Shabab leader in Somalia. It was not announced until Wednesday that the strike had hit its target. A Pentagon spokesman said it is believed that there are no civilian casualties.

In September, another U.S. airstrike in Somalia killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.

The al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the Somali government and turn the country into a conservative Islamic state.

Somali and African Union troops have had success in beating back the militants over the past year.