Nairobi, Kenya – Breaking news out of Nairobi today, as the public affairs spokesperson for Kenya’s Ministry of Defense, Colonel J.M. Owuoth confirmed in a press conference this morning that elements of the Kenyan Defense Force (KDF), assigned to the peace-keeping mission of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), have conducted what the spokesperson considered a successful large-scale raid against Hakarat al-Shabaab. The al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist organization was targeted in the town of Afmadow, 60 miles inland from the Somalian port city of Kismayo in the Lower Jubba region.
Colonel Owuoth of the KDF went on to declared that “In the onslaught, 57 al Shabaab militants were killed and unknown number injured.” Owuoth also claimed that five gun-mounted pickup trucks known as “technicals” were destroyed by Kenyan attack helicopters in direct close air support of the AMISOM troops on the ground during the KDF led raid. The raid initiated at or around 0845 hrs local time with KDF artillery pounding the target site prior to ground troops moving onto the objective with KDF attack helicopter gunships circling above in support. AMISOM and al-Shabaab have been battling each other for quite some time with al-Shabaab kicking their terror operations into overdrive as of late due to Somalia’s recent presidential elections. Each side has claimed amazingly high kill ratios after each of their respective operations, which both sides vehemently claiming that the other is lying about each others successes and/or failures. This prompted al-Shabaab to begin recording their attacks on AMISOM bases and convoys and providing video evidence of AMISOM troops fleeing the fight or lining up the AMISOM dead in neat little rows and filming each body with the deceased military identification clearly visible. Along with a video tour of their spoils of weapons, vehicles, and equipment liberated from the AMISOM forces. This in turn caused the question of whether or not the KDF assigned to AMISOM is factually reporting its gains and losses in its fight against al-Shabaab. The African Union and Kenyan Defense Forces dismissed these videos and claims by al-Shabaab as purely propaganda and reiterated that it, in fact, has al-Shabaab on the ropes.
SOFREP reached out to its local sources in Somalia and asked whether or not this latest KDF raid into southern Somalia’s body count of 57 dead jihadist fighters could be accurate. The source simply stated that a “Somalia military official, who asked to be unnamed tells me this number as Kenya and AMISOM mission claimed killing of 57 militants.” Al-Shabaab has been oddly quiet during this latest attack which is driving the narrative that the success is exactly what the KDF claim it to be: a successful raid on a large group of al-Shabaab fighters that resulted in 57 of those fighters killed with scores more wounded.
Feature Image courtesy of Kenyan Ministry of Defense