Trump Grants US Military More Authority to Strike Militants in Somalia

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(VOA)-The White House has granted the U.S. military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militants, the Pentagon said Thursday, the latest sign President Donald Trump is increasing U.S. military engagement in the region.
Last Friday, the head of U.S. forces in Africa said that greater ability to fight the militants would lead to more flexibility and quicker targeting.
Al-Shabab has been able to carry out deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government. The group’s insurgency aims to drive out the peacekeepers, topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.
The United States has a small presence in Somalia and is allowed to carry out strikes in defense of partnered forces.
Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said parts of Somalia had been declared an “area of active hostilities” for at least 180 days by the White House on Wednesday night. The capital of Mogadishu was not included. VOA

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