Djibouti (HAN) December 31, 2014 – Public diplomacy and Regional safety and security News. The U.S. Regional military Security strategy is Working. The U.S. military carried out an airstrike in southern Somalia that killed the intelligence chief of the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency said.
Abdishakur Tahliil, was targeted in a U.S. airstrike near Somalia’s southern town of Saakow, the agency said in a statement today. Two other senior officials were also killed in the attack, NISA said, without naming them. Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said in an e-mailed statement the attack took place yesterday about 325 kilometers (202 miles) west of the capital, Mogadishu. He didn’t identify the target.
“We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information, when appropriate, as details become available,” Wright said. “At this time, we do not assess there to be any civilian or bystander casualties.”
The strike comes three months after manned U.S. aircraft and drones killed Amir Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of Al-Shabaab militant group that has waged an insurgency against Somalia’s government since 2006. The U.S. declared the Al-Shabaab militia a terrorist group in 2008.
The attacks by the U.S. follow a series of military setbacks that Al-Shabaab has suffered since AMISOM (African Union-backed Somali government) troops pushed the militants to withdraw from Mogadishu, Merca, Kismayo, Barawa and Bledweyn in August 2011. Since then, the Somali national Army (SNA) has forced the insurgents to relinquish control of about 70 percent of southern and central Somalia, according to the commander-in-chief of the Somali National Army (SNA) General Dahir Adan Elmi (Indhaqarsho) statement published by Geeska Afrika Online.
Somalia’s National Security Agency said that the US killed the leader of the Amniyat, Al-Shabaab’s intelligence service, in yesterday’s airstrike in southern Somalia. US officials have not confirmed the claim.
“In a joint operation last night by the Somali national security and the United States, al-Shabaab intelligence chief Abdishakur Tahlil, who replaced the recently arrested former chief, Zakariya Ismail Hersi, was eliminated,” the National Security Agency claimed in a statement that was released through Geeska Afrika Online, Intelligence file page. The Somali Intelligence agency also said that two other Al- Shabaab members were killed in the airstrike, but their identities were not disclosed to the public media.
Last week, Zakariya Ismail Hersi, a senior al-Shabaab commander wanted by the U.S., surrendered to the Somali authorities. The U.S. State Department in 2012 offered a $3 million reward for information leading to the capture of Hersi, describing him as head of the group’s intelligence.
Al-Shabaab leader later denied reports that Hersi was the head of its intelligence division, and claimed that he has not been a member of the group for well over a year. Press reports suggest that Hersi had a falling out with Ahmed Abdi Godane in 2013.
The air strike comes three months after manned U.S. aircraft and drones killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of Al-Shabaab group that has waged an insurgency against Somalia’s government since 2006. The U.S. declared the militia a terrorist organization in 2008.
Somali security forces today handed over Hersi to the authorities in neighboring Kenya and Allies, citing Adan Mohamed, a Somali National security official in Gedo region. Sources both Geeska Afrika Online, Kim Chipman and Mohamed Sheikh Nor.
Photo: Joint Terminal Attack Control members hoist up to a hovering HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter
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