A source revealed Wednesday that a United States drone aircraft recently fired on two Somali militant leaders with ties to al-Qaida, making Somalia the sixth known country where the U.S. is conducting military attacks.
The Washington Post said their source, a senior U.S. military official familiar with the operation, said the attack apparently wounded the two, which were reportedly senior members of al-Shabab.
The other countries that have reportedly been attacked by U.S. drone aircraft are Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen.
While the White House has not responded to questions about the operation, the article drew attention to a recent counterterrorism strategy speech by White House aide John O. Brennan.
“As the al-Qaeda core has weakened under our unyielding pressure, it has looked increasingly to these other groups and individuals to take up its cause, including its goal of striking the United States,” said Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser. “From the territory it controls in Somalia,” he said, “al-Shabab continues to call for strikes against the United States.”
“The airstrike appears to be one piece of a larger effort to step up offensive action against al-Shabab militants with ties to al-Qaeda in Somalia. Somali media have reported numerous rumors in recent months of U.S. airstrikes on militant camps,” the article read.