Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed the strike and that manned and unmanned platforms were used but would not give out specifics.
It’s reasonable to assume Reapers based out of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, a U.S. Naval Expeditionary Base located at the Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport, were used in the strike. The base has functioned for several years as the backbone for U.S. operations in Africa. Since at least 2009, the site has hosted armed drones flights targeting militants and terrorists in Somalia and Yemen.
“Their removal will degrade al Shabaab’s ability to meet the group’s objectives in Somalia, which include recruiting new members, establishing bases and planning attacks on U.S. and Amisom forces there,” said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis
The strike was launched after weeks of surveillance suggested that the militants at the camp “posed an imminent threat to U.S. and African Union troops.” The U.S. has Special Operations forces training African Peacekeepers near hotspots all over the continent.
A couple months ago the U.S. targeted a senior leader of al Shabaab, Abdirahman Sandhere. Killing him and two other fighters. And just last month the U.S. eliminated a high level member of the Tunisian branch of the Islamic state. With this latest airstrike marks an escalation. The U.S. has now dedicated a considerable amount of resources to AFRICOM in targeting radical jihadist groups in Africa.
The U.S. has kept its activities on the continent relatively quite but this latest airstrike will now draw a lot attention from the international community and the American people.