July 21 (UPI) — The United States carried out a drone strike on al-Shabab targets Tuesday, the Pentagon announced, the first such attack against the militant group under the Biden administration.
Defense Department spokeswoman Cindi King confirmed the single airstrike near Galkayo to Military.com and The New York Times.
She said the action was in support of Somali troops fighting al-Shabab. Militants attacked the Danab, a U.S.-trained Somali commando force.
“There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation,” King said. “U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”
The Times reported the Biden administration had placed a limit on drone strikes outside active war zones and previously dismissed requests by Africa Command to attack al-Shabab targets in Somalia.
King said White House approval for Tuesday’s strike wasn’t needed because policy allowed AFRICOM the authority to carry out drone strikes if allied forces are under attack.