On Monday, Sept. 1 the U.S. launched an airstrike in Somalia targeting the leader of the al-Qaida affiliated group behind the Kenya mall massacre. A military drone launched Hellfire missiles at two vehicles in a distant area of southern Somalia.
In a statement released late Monday night Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said, “We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate.”
Thus far, six members of the Islamic group al-Shabab were killed. Its leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab’s spiritual leader and the person responsible for forging an alliance with Somali militants and al-Qaida, was stated to be in one of the vehicles hit. It has not been confirmed if Godane is one of the members executed.
The two vehicles were headed toward the coastal town of Barawe, al-Shabab’s main base, when they were attacked, Abu Mohammed told The Associated Press (AP).
Al-Shabab is responsible for the fatal killings of 67 people as well as nearly 200 others injured at Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
In addition, the AP also reports if Godane was killed “two security experts said the leadership upheaval could bring al-Shabab to break away from al-Qaida and instead pledge allegiance to the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.”