On February 24th, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) carried out airstrikes near Beledweyne, Somalia, wiping out at least 32 al-Shabaab fighters. The airstrikes targeted the Islamist fighters as they traveled between locations in a rural area of the Hiran region. The U.S. regularly utilizes airstrikes in Somalia as a means to support the fragile Somali government, which has been struggling against the al-Shabaab insurgency for years.

According to U.S. AFRICOM’s Twitter account, “To support the federal government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike approximately 23 miles east of Beledweyne, Hiran Region, Somalia, on February 24, 2019.”

This attack comes after al-Shabaab declared on February 15th that it had ordered a mortar attack on the Baledogle Airfield that killed U.S. and Somali forces. The radical militants issued a statement claiming they had killed three American soldiers and five Somali members of the Danab (Lightning) Advanced Infantry Battalion.

U.S. and Somali forces have planned a number of precision strikes to suppress the violence and support the Somali government’s foothold in the country. Although these targeted strikes have risen in frequency, it is uncertain what lasting impact, if any, the strikes are having on the militant group.