Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on U.S. Airstrike in Somalia

On May 27, U.S. forces carried out an airstrike in south-central Somalia targeting Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, a senior military commander for al-Shabaab. Da’ud was one of al-Shabaab’s most senior military planners and served as a principal coordinator of al-Shabaab’s militia attacks in Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda.  He held several positions of authority within the terrorist organization over the years, including head of the Amniyat, al-Shabaab’s Security and Intelligence Branch.

Da’ud has been responsible for the loss of many innocent lives through attacks he has planned and carried out.  We are confident that the removal from the terrorist network of this experienced al-Shabaab commander with extensive operational experience will disrupt near-term attack planning, potentially saving many innocent lives.

We are currently assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate.  U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army, and our African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) partners in defeating al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia.

Release No: NR-190-16
June 1, 2016

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