US Africa Command (AFRICOM) asserts that even though seasonal change in Somalia has prevented the force from carrying out airstrikes against al-Shabaab targets, the US military force remains committed to its support of the country’s government against the militants.
Stars and Stripes on Thursday called attention to what is now AFRICOM’s five-week break from airstrikes in Somalia – the longest hiatus in air-based attacks from the force in over a year.
Despite a pause in reported airstrikes since the April 10 strike against an al-Shabaab terrorist in Jamaame, Somalia, the military force has not ceased additional operations in and around the region, AFRICOM spokesperson Col. Chris Karns insisted.
According to recent numbers from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, 24 people have been killed and an estimated 283,000 have been displaced following heavy rains in the country triggered by the warming Indian Ocean.
The frequency of airstrikes against militants in Somalia began to increase following al-Shabaab’s January 5 attack on Kenyan and American troops at the Kenyan Defense Force Military Base in Manda Bay.
During its five-week halt on airstrikes, the US released its first quarterly casualties report and confessed to killing two Somali civilians and injuring at least three more in a single airstrike.
“While we follow very precise and rigorous standards, in instances where we fail to meet…