Although toppled from power in Mogadishu, the Somali jihadists are still active. One Pentagon spokesman says below: “This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them.” This is good. It needs to be done now on a much more thoroughgoing level, with attention given to the ways in which Islamic supremacism is being advanced through peaceful means.
But before that can happen, there will have to be a sea change in the way Administration, State Department, and military officials view this conflict, and that does not look to be in the offing.
“Report: U.S. hits militants’ Somali base,” by Mohamed Olad Hassan for Associated Press, with thanks to all who sent this in:
MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.
The attack from a U.S. destroyer took place late Friday, said Muse Gelle, the regional governor. The extremists had arrived Wednesday by speedboat at the port town of Bargal.
Gelle said the area is a dense thicket, making it difficult for security forces from the semiautonomous republic of Puntland to intervene on their own.
A local radio station quoted Puntland’s leader, Ade Muse, as saying that his forces had battled with the extremists for hours before U.S. ships arrived and used their cannons. Muse said five of his troops were wounded, but that he had no information about casualties among the extremists.
A task force of coalition ships, called CTF-150, is permanently based in the northern Indian Ocean and patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting international terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.
CNN International, quoting a Pentagon official, also reported the U.S. warship’s involvement. A Pentagon spokesman told The Associated Press he had no information about the incident.
“This is a global war on terror and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist capabilities when and where we find them,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
“We recognize the importance of working closely with allies to seek out, identify, locate, capture, and if necessary, kill terrorists and those who would provide them safe haven,” Whitman said. “The very nature of some of our operations, as well as the success of those operations is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our partners and allies.”