Mogadishu, Somalia — Early this morning the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) based in Stuttgart, Germany released a statement confirming a “kinetic strike operation” against the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group known as Harakat al-Shabaab, killing one militant. SOFREP has confirmed that the target was the southern Somalia Banadir Region commander of al-Shabaab, Ali Mohamed Hussien, also known as “Ali Jabal.”
USAFRICOM confirmed the strike as a success in its press releases stating; “On July 29, at approximately 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, working from actionable intelligence, the Department of Defense conducted a successful kinetic strike operation against an al-Shabaab Mogadishu Attack Network militant in Somalia, killing one (1) fighter and with no civilian casualties. The operation occurred near Tortoroow in southern Somalia. The U.S. conducted this operation in coordination with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.”
USAFRICOM also reiterated that this latest strike fell under the Trump administrations newest strike parameters that the U.S. president authorized in Somalia saying, “[T]his strike was conducted within the parameters of the proposal approved by the President in March 2017, which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct lethal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of active hostilities in support of partner force in Somalia.”
SOFREP was able to confirm with its sources within the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) that the target of the U.S. airstrike was in fact Ali Jabal, and that he is most likely dead. The source also went on to state that the strike itself was approved by the Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo himself, and that this is the beginning of an “all out offensive” that the Somali president promised al-Shabaab back in April.
Ali Jabal who is known locally as the head of the Mogadishu based contingent of al-Shabaab was responsible for many of the suicide bombing attacks in and around the capital city for quite some time. Known for targeting foreign diplomats and local government officials, Jabal is no stranger to Federal Government of Somalia as he was indicated as being apart of an arms smuggling cabal in 2014 by the U.N Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG). In which Jabal and al-Shabaab received 80 percent of the weapons designated for delivery from UK-sanctioned dealers for FSG security forces by way of a corrupt advisor to the then Somali president Hassan, Musa Haji Mohamed or “Musa Ganjab.”
Somalia has seen an increase in U.S. military support from the Trump administration by way of drone strikes on senior al-Shabaab leadership as well as U.S. Special Operations joint direct action missions since the 60-day amnesty period for al-Shabaab to lay down its arms ended in the beginning of July.
Featured image courtesy of: Department of Defense