MOGADISHU – The Somali government says deputy leader of Islamic State, IS, in Somalia has been killed in an air strike carried out by United State.
In a statement seen by Mareeg Online confirmed the death of Abdihakim Dhoqob, deputy leader of Islamic State after his vehicle was hit by an air strike near Hiriro area, just east of Puntland.
Somalia says the air raid was carried out by United State military in coordination with the government of Somalia’s efforts to eradicate al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab and Islamic State groups in the war-ravaged nation.
Abdisalam Mohamed Gallan, Puntland’s security minister said slain IS leader’s vehicle was hit near Hiriro area, killing him and his driver.
Somalia’s major security headache has been the incessant terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab insurgents.
The Islamic State has also upped their operations in the country but being far less deadlier than Al-Shabaab.
There was no immediate comment from US Africom commando over the bombing.
But, US attacks on Somalia’s al-Shabab increased after Donald Trump’s presidency has coincided with a sharp rise in US-led airstrikes in Somalia and the trend is set to continue in 2019.
Earlier this year, In a speech in December outlining the US’ Africa policy, President Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said “terrorists operating in Africa have… repeatedly targeted US citizens and interests”.
He gave the impression that there would be no let up in the struggle against militant Islamist groups, such as the Somalia-based al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.
In March 2017, the Pentagon received White House approval to expand its fight against the militants in the Horn of Africa nation.