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US Army carries out first air strike on ISIS in Somalia

US Army carries out first air strike on ISIS in Somalia

The US now maintains a small force unit of about 50 troops in Somalia, mainly to advise and assist Somalia and African Union mission in battling militants of Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaida-affiliated terrorist group in Somalia.

While the results of the strikes are still being assessed, Africa Command said "several" terrorists were killed. The United States said the strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia's government.

"U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats", AFRICOM said in a statement.

IS claimed its first suicide attack in Somalia in May, killing at least five people as it stepped up activities in a region dominated by the Shabaab.

America has previously carried out more than a dozen drone strikes against the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group in Somalia.

USA forces also carried out several airstrikes in September against ISIS in Libya, which US and Libyan forces ousted from its stronghold in Sirte in 2016.

The group briefly seized control of Qandala town late past year, "making the town the first territory the Islamic State has held inside Somalia", the report says.

More than 350 people were killed by a truck bomb in Mogadishu in October. "They will pay a big price for every attack on us!" It's also unclear if Friday's strikes in Somalia were linked to Trump's claim the military is being "much harder" on the terrorist group after the New York City attack.

Friday's strikes also come in the wake of an ambush on October 4 in Niger that led to the deaths of four US special forces soldiers.

A USA official told CNN the strikes were carried out by an unmanned drone.

Somalia is preparing for an offensive with African Union forces meant to push al-Shabab fighters out of their strongholds in Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions.