Despite international outrage, the United States has carried out an assassination drone strike in southern Somalia.
A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the attack on Sunday targeted a suspect linked to “al-Shabab” in the African country.
However, the official did not expose details on the target’s identity or whether he was killed or not.
Reports say the official described the target as a “senior leader” affiliated with “al-Shabab.”
Another US military official said that the attack took place in an area near Barawe, about 110 miles from the capital, Mogadishu.
Meanwhile al-Shabab fighters say at least five members of their group, including a senior commander, died in the attack.
On January 26, a commander of the group said one of its members had been killed in a US assassination drone strike in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region.
Last October, the US Navy attempted to capture al-Shabab leader Ikrima in Barawe. They withdrew from the mission after an intense firefight.
The United States uses assassination drones in several countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, to target “militants.” However, reports show the attacks have mostly led to civilian casualties.
The aerial attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama, who has defended the use of the controversial drones as “self-defense.”
This is while the United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.