U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) confirmed Tuesday that Yusef Jiis, a “foundational member” of the extremist group al-Shabab, was killed during an airstrike in Somalia on Thursday. Two other members of the organization, which has ties to al-Qaida, also died in the attack.
A separate statement, meanwhile, reported five al-Shabab deaths in an airstrike on Monday near Jilib. “While we might like to pause our operations in Somalia because of the coronavirus, the leaders of al-Qaida, al-Shabaab and ISIS have announced that they see this crisis as an opportunity to further their terrorist agenda so we will continue to stand with and support our African partners,” AFRICOM commander Gen. Stephen Townsend said.
In response to complaints that its airstrikes in Somalia have killed civilians, AFRICOM said last week that it will start issuing a quarterly report addressing those allegations.