A US-backed military coalition in Somalia has conducted air raids against al-Qaeda-linked militants who have launched multiple attacks on the African nation, the Pentagon said.
The strikes were conducted from Monday through Wednesday, and targeted “a number of al-Qaida-linked operatives and members of al Qaeda’s al-Mujahideen group,” according to a statement from the Pentagon.
The air raids came after the Somali government agreed to a cease-fire deal with the group in March, but it’s not clear how many fighters were killed.
Al-Shabaab, which has been blamed for a string of attacks in the country, said it carried out the raids in an apparent retaliation against the United States and other Western powers who have backed the Somali authorities.
The coalition has been carrying out raids against the militants in Somalia since January, when it took over a major area in the capital, Mogadishu, after seizing the Somali capital, the Somali-led international coalition said in a statement.
The U.S.-led coalition has taken advantage of a political crisis in Somalia to launch air strikes on al Qaeda and other militant groups in the Horn of Africa nation, which borders Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia.
In March, the United Nations Security Council authorized U.N. forces to deploy to Somalia to help stabilize the country.
But U.A.E. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud refused to accept the plan, saying it would lead to a collapse of his country.