Washington (AFP) – An American air strike on a Shebab training camp in Somalia killed more than 150 fighters planning an imminent attack on forces from the United States and its regional allies, the Pentagon said Monday.
While the US military regularly conducts operations targeting the Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Somalia, Saturday’s raid had a greater toll than all previous such US strikes combined.
The raids, which began in 2003, had killed between 113 and 136 militants prior to the latest operation, according to the New America foundation.
Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the strike on Camp Raso killed fighters as they were completing “training for a large-scale attack.”
Warplanes and unmanned drones were used in the strike, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) north of Mogadishu.
“We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and (African Union) forces,” Davis said, noting that as many as 200 fighters had been using the camp.
The US military has a small and secretive presence in Somalia, with a defense official estimating the current number of American troops in the country on an advise-and-assist mission at 150.