US launches new air strike on Somalia
AFP, Monday 3 Jul 2017

US forces launched a fresh strike at Al Shabaab militants in Somalia over the weekend, the second such attack in a month, defense officials said Monday.

The attack Sunday was a "kinetic strike operation," Patrick Barnes, a spokesman for the US Africa Command said.

That term usually indicates a strike from an airplane, helicopter or drone, though officials would not provide any details.

"We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate," Barnes said.

"US forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and our AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) partners in defeating al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia."

It was the second US strike on Shabaab Islamist militants since President Donald Trump authorized the Pentagon in March to take counter-terrorism actions, whether airstrikes or ground raids, when it sees necessary to support the Somali government against the insurgents.

The first action under the new permissions, on June 11, was a raid on a Shabaab training center southwest of Mogadishu.

Before Trump broadened the Pentagon's authorities, US military actions in the eastern African country each required high-level review by different agencies.

US special forces have been deployed in Somalia for years. Drone and missile strikes have also been used against Shabaab commanders and foot soldiers.

Since 2007, Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda linked group, has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.