(Adds Pentagon's estimate of casualties, details)
WASHINGTON/NAIROBI, June 11 The United States
carried out an air strike on al Shabaab militants in Somalia on
Sunday, and Somalia said its special forces had joined in the
attack to destroy one of the group's main training and command
The Pentagon estimated that the strike, in response to
attacks in Somalia by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, killed eight
The strike was the first by the United States in Somalia
under new authorities granted by President Donald Trump in March
and was conducted in coordination with regional partners, the
Pentagon said. It was a drone strike, a U.S. official said on
condition of anonymity.
The base was in the Middle Juba region in southern Somalia,
the office of Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi said.
"Earlier today, I authorised our special forces with the
support of our international partners to conduct a strike
against an al Shabaab training camp near Sakow," his statement
"This was a successful strike that destroyed a key al
Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the
enemy's ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia."
There was no immediate comment from al Shabaab.
On Thursday, al Shabaab killed 59 people in an attack on a
military base in the semi-autonomous Puntland region in northern
Since being pushed out of the capital Mogadishu in 2011, al
Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia's cities and towns.
But it still retains a strong presence in swathes of the south
and centre and still carries out major gun and bomb attacks.
The group aims to topple Somalia's government, drive out
African Union peacekeeping troops and impose its own harsh
interpretation of Islamic law.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Idrees Ali in Washington and
George Obulutsa in Nairobi; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Grant