A U.S. air strike killed 27 al-Shabab militants in central Somalia earlier this week, U.S. Africa Command said Wednesday.

The strike against the insurgent group was carried out on Sunday near Buulobarde, Somalia, in support of the country’s army and an African Union force, according to a release.

“The defensive strikes allowed the Somali National Army and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia forces to regain the initiative and continue the operation to disrupt al-Shabaab in the Hiraan region of central Somalia,” AFRICOM officials said, adding that no civilians were injured. “This operation is the largest combined Somali and ATMIS offensive operation in five years.”

The strike comes on the heels of a Somali military operation that killed more than 100 al-Shabab terrorists, the country’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said Monday on Twitter. The East African country’s armed forces were “still conducting [a] series [of] operations to ensure that the merciless terrorists do not find a place to hide,” another post said yesterday.

At least a half-dozen U.S. strikes have been launched in 2022 against the terrorist group, which has ties to al-Qaeda. Most recently, a series of airstrikes were conducted in August, including one that resulted in an estimated 13 militants being killed.

On the same day as the strike, AFRICOM commander Gen. Michael Langley began a four-day visit to Niger and Chad during his second trip to the African continent since taking charge last month.

“We are grateful to our security partners for their demonstrated commitment to the counter-violent extremist fight,” Langley said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to build on our partnerships.” .

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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