Mogadishu, Somalia — The joint U.S. Special Operations raid in southern Somalia that claimed the life of Senior Chief Petty Officer, Kyle Milliken, a member of the Joint Special Operations Command’s (JSOC) elite SEAL Team 6 was targeting one of the al-Qaeda linked Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen top regional commanders in southern Somalia. SEAL Team 6 (ST6) was in direct support of Somali National Army special forces when the joint operation came under heavy fire from al-Shabaab militants, two other U.S. Special Operations members and a Somali-American interpreter were also wounded in the ensuing fire-fight.
The raid in which local witnesses described “black helicopters” circling the al-Shabaab base camp firing heavy machine guns into and around the perimeter just prior to the joint special operations forces putting boots on ground was met with heavy resistance. The primary target was senior al-Shabaab commander, Moalim Osman Abdi Badil who was in command of al-Shabaab forces for the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia. During the ensuing gun fight that claimed one SEAL operator, Badil and three of his subordinate commanders were killed.
A spokesperson from Somalia’s CIA-trained, National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) confirmed Badil’s death in a statement saying; “The Somali National Army killed an al Shabaab leader, Moalim Osman Abdi Badil, and three fighters. This will weaken the strength of the terrorists in Lower Shabelle region. It is a victory for the Somali forces and for peacemaking.” The NISA spokesperson concluded by claiming that the death of Badil “strengthens the war on terror – so fighters have a chance to leave al Shabaab.”
Recent reports from the Somali government are claiming just that, as upwards to eleven senior and mid-level al-Shabaab commanders took Somali President Farmaajo’s offer of a 60-day amnesty period given last month during the presidents declaration of ‘total war’ on al-Shabaab allowing any and all al-Shabaab fighters to willingly turn themselves over to Somali authorities, no questions asked.
One of those senior commanders with deep connections to the al-Shabaab command structure and leadership that took the offer was Abdikarim Sheikh Hassan. Hassan was an influential regional commander in the southern Gedo district which shares borders with Kenya and Ethiopia. NISA claims that Hassan contacted local Somali government officials in the Somali port city of Kismayo in order to turn himself in. A security minister stated that Hassan “was in charge of the health department for the militants’ group of Al Shabaab. Indeed, he is among at least 11 commanders, who surrendered to Jubaland State since 20 April.” Hassan gave himself up on May 3rd, two days before the joint SEAL Team 6 raid on Badil’s hideout.
The CIA-trained NISA of course debriefed Hassan and the 10 other commanders of al-Shabaab that turned themselves over and more than likely the intelligence derived from these debriefings drove SEAL Team 6 and Somali Special Forces troops to plan then conduct a night-time raid with the intent on either capturing or killing Moalim Osman Abdi Badil. Badil and his al-Shabaab fighters chose the latter.
NISA officials assigned to the southern region of the Lower Shabelle are reporting ‘total panic’ within the leadership ranks of al-Shabaab and have been reported as fleeing their hideouts in fear of U.S. drones and SEAL Team 6 seeking revenge for the killing of ST6 member Kyle Milliken. “al-Shabaab commanders are fleeing since last night from their hideouts in Lower Shabelle, fearing possible U.S. Airstrikes, in revenge for the killing of the Navy SEAL last Thursday in Darusalam. — leaders are on the run after abandoning two rebel-held villages called Jilib, Marka and Gandirshe near No-50 district last night.”
If the reports of upwards of eleven senior commanders of al-Shabaab defecting ring true then the remaining fighters have every right to be panicked and afraid. Their entire network and secret hideout have more than likely been compromised and thus forcing those left to displace and regroup. Trouble is, they killed an American Special Operator which comes with a high cost and vengeance as a standard reply. In Africa, even hyenas get lucky and take down a lion, yet the Pride will never forget and those responsible will soon become the hunted once more.
Feature image courtesy of Twitter