US forces carried out a defensive strike against al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia earlier this week, killing three. The June 21 defensive fire came after it was determined the group was planning to attack US forces who are supporting Somalia’s government, according to a US Africa Command release. US aircraft have repeatedly struck al-Shabaab in recent months. In March, manned and unmanned aircraft struck a training camp inside Somalia, reportedly killing 150 fighters. A March 31 airstrike killed senior al-Shabaab leader Hassan Ali Dhoore. In May, US forces targeted Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, a senior military commander, but the Pentagon has not announced whether he died in the strike. (See also: Changing Tactics in Somalia.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.