According to reports, American airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia targeted and may have killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, leader of the al-Qaeda linked group.
Sources tell @NBCNews Somalia shebab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane killed along with an aide in US military strike.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 2, 2014
The strike reportedly took place early on Tuesday. From the BBC:
A US official quoted by the American media said "a senior al-Shabab operative" had been targeted but did not name him.
"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon spokesman John F Kirby said in a statement.
U.S. operations are nothing new in Somalia. As we noted earlier this summer, American officials recently admitted the obvious—that the United States has been operating in Somalia since 2007 to combat the growth of al-Shabab. The group has been a destabilizing force in Somalia as well as Kenya, where it took responsibility for last year's attack on the Westgate shopping mall that killed nearly 70 people.
The successful killing of al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane would been seen as a major success in the international effort to dislodge the group from its control over southern and central Somalia.
The Pentagon wouldn't be making such a big deal out of these Somalia strikes if they didn't think they killed someone significant.— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) September 2, 2014
Shebab leader attacked by US military was "a long time coming" according to sources.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 2, 2014