US military carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden, targeting Al-Shabaab militants

A general view shows security officers and rescuers at the scene of a car explosion claimed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, on July 10, 2021.
A general view shows security officers and rescuers at the scene of a car explosion claimed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, on July 10, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States on Tuesday (July 20) carried out an air strike against Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia, the first strike in the country since President Joe Biden came into office.

Al Qaeda-linked insurgent group Al-Shabaab is seeking to topple the government and establish its own rule in Somalia based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic syariah law.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the strike took place near Galkayo, Somalia.

While the United States has frequently carried out air strikes in Somalia against Al-Shaabab, this was the first since Jan 20 when Biden took office.

The group's campaign of bombings and gun attacks has targeted Somali military bases and civilian infrastructure including hotels, bars and schools in both Somalia and other regional countries.