Government Claims Shabab Leaders Slain in Drone Strikes as Turkey Increases Military Role in Somalia


The Somali government announced the killings of two Shabab (HSM) “high value targets” in US drone strikes. Ibrahim Hassan Dahir Aweys, son of the former senior HSM figure, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys is said to have been killed in a drone strike in the Lower Shabelle province of Somalia, according to local media reports.

The Somali Government Ministry of Information claims that Abdullahi Nadir, one of the co-founders of HSM, with a bounty of $3 million dollars on his head who is wanted by the Americans was killed in an operation (drone strike) in collaboration with the US.

Last week Somalia’s federal government confirmed that Turkish made Baykar drones are currently active in Somalia. Somalia’s new Interior Minister Ahmed Malim Fiqi said:

“The US government is leading, and we really appreciate that they are providing air support and carrying [out] air strikes against the terror group… but the Turkish government has also joined the offensive and is providing air support. Many other countries are also providing intelligence-gathering support.”

One analyst said that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud asked Turkey to play a more active roll in providing military aid to the federal government in its battle with militants he also noted that he believes the Turkish involvement will be more significant than that of the US given the strong Turkish presence already in Somalia.

Mogadishu hosts Turkey’s largest overseas base, Turksom, which also serves as a military training academy for Somali soldiers. According to MEE “Turkey is on course to training one-third of Somalia’s military forces, numbering around 15,000-16,000 personnel.”

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