U.S. Strikes Known al-Qai­da Tar­get in Soma­lia

By Jim Gara­mone
Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand con­duct­ed a strike against a known al-Qai­da tar­get in Soma­lia yes­ter­day, a Pen­ta­gon spokesman said today.

The strike was near Dusa Mareb, north of the Soma­li cap­i­tal of Mogadishu.

U.S. offi­cials would not con­firm news reports that the strike killed Aden Hashi Ayro, the head of al-Qai­da in Soma­lia, nor the means used in the strike.

“When you have some­thing like this, there is a cer­tain amount of analy­sis that goes on,” said Bryan Whit­man, a Pen­ta­gon spokesman. “While you are con­duct­ing that analy­sis, you want to be care­ful not to pro­vide any infor­ma­tion that poten­tial­ly could be of use to the ene­my.”

Whit­man said the strike is an exam­ple of U.S. pol­i­cy in the war on ter­ror.

“We will pur­sue ter­ror­ists world­wide,” he said. “The U.S. is com­mit­ted to iden­ti­fy­ing, locat­ing, cap­tur­ing and, if nec­es­sary, killing ter­ror­ists wher­ev­er they oper­ate, train, plan their oper­a­tions, or seek safe havens.”

News reports said the strike killed eight peo­ple. U.S. offi­cials have no infor­ma­tion that sub­stan­ti­ates any civil­ians being killed or injured. As a gen­er­al rule, U.S. plan­ners seek to min­i­mize any affect of such strikes in civil­ians, a U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand offi­cial said, not­ing that in many cas­es, plan­ners abort a strike rather than endan­ger civil­ians.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)