AU troops launch airstrikes in S. Somalia
Africa Union fighter jets on Tuesday launched air raids against Al-Shabaab camps in areas near the town of Dinsor in southern Somalia, local officials said.
Mayor of Gofgadud district in southern Somalia Ahmed Gadid told media that the aim of the bombing was to take the villages from Al-Shabaab fighters before a capture of Dinsor.
“This military campaign is part of a major operation to remove Al-Shabaab from their strongholds,” the mayor said. “Government forces and the African peacekeeping force will soon enter the town of Dinsor.”
Residents told Xinhua that they saw military jets flying down near Dinsor.
“We saw military jets flying down, and after a few minutes we heard huge explosions,” said resident Mohamed Osman.
This comes days after Uganda announced sending helicopters to the Horn of Africa nation to help flush out Al-Shabaab militants.
Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Deputy Force Commander Operations and Plans Major General Mohammedesha Zeyinu said Sunday the aim of the operation, codenamed “Operation Jubba Corridor” is to eliminate insurgents in the few rural areas it still occupies.
“This operation seeks to clear main supply routes to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid to the population and flush Al-Shabaab from all the said areas, ensuring full control by the Federal Government of Somalia,” Zeyinu said.
The military offensive against Al-Shabaab is taking place in the Bay and Gedo regions of Somalia.