US drone strikes near Al-Shabaab controlled town leaves a mystery
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Conflicting reports are surfacing regarding suspected drone strikes believed to have targeted vehicles nearby an Al-Shabaab controlled town in the Lower Shabelle region last night.
According to residents of the small town of Haway in the Lower Shabelle region three loud explosions were heard as the sun was setting, followed shortly by several other explosions and rising smoke. “We heard loud explosions after we finished saying our prayers, those were followed by other explosions while we saw planes circling the skies” a resident nearby the scene told Harar24. It’s believed these explosions were the results of missiles fired from unmanned aerial vehicles.
The operation was claimed by the United States, though not specifying how the operation was carried out or detailing who the targets were except stating that they had conducted a “counter-terrorism operation” against the militant Al-Shabaab movement which coincided with the timing of the attack. “We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate” said the Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby.
Although reports are circulating that high value targets may have been hit in the strike, including the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, there has been no confirmation from either the United States or the Islamist group, with both sides remaining quite until now.
It’s believed that this is the second attempt to take out the Al-Shabaab leader, as earlier this year in January another drone strike occurred around the same area which reportedly intended to take out the mystifying leader, instead another Al-Shabaab figure known as Ahmed Abdulqadir was killed, who was said to be the head of the group’s medical department.