The US military conducted an airstrike in Somalia against a senior al Shabaab leader on March 31, the Pentagon announced on Friday. The US is “still assessing the results” of the strike, but said removing the target, Hassan Ali Dhoore, would be “a significant blow” to al Shabaab’s ability to plan operations and conduct attacks. Dhoore, who is part of al Qaeda and a member of Al Shabaab’s security and intelligence wing, had significant involvement in planning attacks in Mogadishu, according to the Department of Defense. He had a direct role in the Christmas 2014 attack on Mogadishu International Airport, and was directly respo?nsibility for the March 27, 2015, attack on the Maka al-Mukarram Hotel in Mogadishu. Officials believe he was planning future attacks against US citizens in the city. (See also: More Strikes Possible 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.