Now you have a small snapshot of the truth. The US has reportedly carried out two airstrikes in Somalia and has conducted raids on al-Qaeda targets tied to the 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Pentagon has denied that any of this is happening, however witnesses have seen firsthand and the denials by the Somalian and US government make these events seem undeniably true. The Somalian President, Abdullahi Yusuf, told journalists that the US, “has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.” The targets were Islamists driven to the wedge between the sea, patrolled by the US Navy and the Kenyan border, which is heavily guarded. The airstrikes were followed by gunships attacking the al-Qaeda targets. This is the first US military offensive in an African country since the 1993 Somalia operation. See the complete NPR article and report from witnesses in Mogadishu here. To try and claim that the US has no hand in this operation or that it never happened is obsurd. There has been an obvious build-up in the region (ie: new Africa Command, live military exercises in Cape Verde and neighbors, tracking Somalian ‘terrorists’). I had written a post last year about the threat of Chinese economic attack to gain natural resources, but now I am even more worried for the US military’s involvement in the name of fighting terror. What will the US do to Africa? Hasn’t the West already done enough military ill from the past? Where is our Africa policy headed now? Unilateralism again?
Update: The Pentagon has claimed the attack, but will not release their success. Somali elders say 19 were killed. White House Spokesman, Tony Snow: “This administration continues to go after al-Qaeda,” he said. “We are interested in going after those who have perpetrated acts of violence against Americans, including bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.”This is after hte US said it would send only money, no troops or military to help stabilize the Somalian conflict. Check out the BBC Article.
Update 09.10.07: Somali hatred of the US has been rekindled by the recent airstrikes and it is reported that 27 civilians were killed, no al-Qaeda were among the dead. It will be very interesting to see what direction the US government and military takes on African conflicts in the name of fighting terrorism.
Update 09.11.07: Supposedly the US has not claimed the attack. However residents of the two areas attacked saw US gunships involved.