Following the takeover over of several villages in Galgaduud & Hiiraan provinces by the Macawisley militias in conjunction with the Somali National Army, the government has deployed hundreds of additional troops to the area.
The troops arrived in the town of Dhusamareeb in an effort to keep the operations going and with an aim to capture the towns of ‘El Buur & Harardheere, two major Shabaab strongholds.
In recent weeks the battles between both sides have been intensifying, with the government claiming to have killed more than 200 Shabaab fighters & capturing 30 villages.
Meanwhile Shabaab’s official media wing released a 30 minute video statement wherein their spokesman addressed the ongoing situation. The video, which is dated as being recorded on 13th September, featured the spokesman reading a statement in front of hundreds of newly recruited members.
Apart from calling on Somali clans to cease their hostilities, he renewed the group’s warning to the public to stay away from what they deem “legitimate targets”, leading many analysts to believe that the group is preparing to ramp up their attacks in Mogadishu as a distraction to the ongoing events in Central Somalia.
Although Shabaab are not known to fight in order to maintain their control over major strongholds, instead preferring to retreat to nearby smaller villages, the group – having already lost the popular support they once enjoyed – may have to reconsider much of it’s policies & tactics as they are now losing the villages that once hosted them.