A senior al-Shabab commander was killed in a recent U.S. airstrike in Somalia, the director of U.S. African Command (Africom) said Sunday.
"Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud was a senior operational leader responsible for exporting terror in Somalia as well as attacks into Kenya," said Africom director of public affairs Col. Christopher Karns.
"He has been a senior al-Shabab member for more than a decade," he said.
Bashir was killed in a Feb. 22 airstrike, said Karns, describing him as an "individual (who) had a role in planning and directing terrorist operations in Somalia and on the Kenya border region."
Bashir also was suspected of having had a role in a January attack on a U.S.-Kenyan military base in southeastern Kenya in which three Americans were killed, he added.
Gen. Roger Cloutier, commander of U.S. land forces in Africa, recently declared al-Shabab to be "one of the biggest threats on the continent."
Some analysts have questioned the effectiveness of the U.S. campaign in Africa.
Amnesty International said in a 2019 report that U.S. airstrikes sometimes hit civilians as well as al-Shabab fighters, killing farmers, workers and children.
The U.S. military has generally denied the charge, though it did admit responsibility for civilian casualties in one attack that killed a woman and a child near the central town of El Buur in April 2018.
Col. Karns described al-Shabab as "the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaida network in the world."
"What we are doing in Somalia, as part of an international effort, is meaningful basic security insurance for Africa and the longer-term security of America, the continent and our international partners," he added.
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