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Release the Hounds! UAVs Strike in Somalia

by John Reed on June 30, 2011

In case you didn’t see it, the U.S. has unleashed the drones on yet another country, Somalia. Two leaders of the al Shabab terrorist group were wounded in a drone strike there last week, according to the Washington Post. They plane, or planes, involved apparently belonged to U.S. Special Operations Command.

As the Post notes, this is the sixth country where U.S. drones are dropping ordnance. The other countries, that we know about, are; Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen. The aircraft hitting targets in Somalia may be operating out of the ever-growing U.S.-French base in nearby Djibouti known as Camp Lemonnier but we’ll likely never know for sure.

Still, we’ve been rustling around in Somalia on and off for decades now. Things heated up a couple of years ago when Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130 gunships pounded terrorists from above with their cannons and the U.S. and a ton of other countries have been conducting all sorts of anti-piracy ops in the waters off Somalia and in some cases venturing ashore to nab pirate or terrorist targets. And keep in mind that drones have definitley been used in those offshore ops.

Apparently, the Pentagon brought the drones into Somalia itself because of “growing concern within the U.S. government that some leaders of the Islamist group [al-Shabab] are collaborating more closely with al-Qaeda to strike targets beyond Somalia, the military official said.”

As we all know, UAVs can loiter for a long time looking for and tracking targets, are almost invincible to Somalia’s non-existant air defenses (although, Stinger-style MANPADS are all over Africa), and if they do go down it’s no huge loss.

More details of the attack per the Post:

In last week’s attack, local officials told the Associated Press that military aircraft struck a convoy carrying the militants as they drove along the coastline of the southern port city of Kismaayo late Thursday. Other local residents told journalists that an air attack had taken place on a militant camp near Kismaayo, an insurgent stronghold. Several residents were quoted as saying that more than one explosion had occurred over a period of several hours and that they thought that at least helicopters had taken part in the attack.

An al-Shabab leader confirmed the airstrike and said two militants were wounded. Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, Somalia’s deputy defense minister, said the attack was a coordinated operation that killed “many” foreign fighters.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

blight June 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

A Strela would do the job as well, and perhaps Iglas if they can be found. Or a blast of random HMG rounds, or even Russian 23mm ammo.

Maybe America should plant rumors that we spike Predator debris with radioative material or irritant agents to deter scavenging, if putting repeated missiles onto the crash site is insufficient deterrent.

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boxerkat@gmail.com June 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I like your idea!

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John Moore June 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm

"the sixth country where U.S. drones are dropping ordnance"

And he got a nobel peace prize go figure.

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kim June 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Well, Kissinger got one too. Now go figure THAT.

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Howe July 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

…and the left called Bush a war monger-er???
Listen, I don't mind the occasional bombing of a high value target, But this is getting ridiculous. At the very least we should immediately pull out of Afghanistan, Osama is dead, we no longer have any reason to be their, its an un-winnable war.
We should keep troops in Iraq (that country has a chance).
We shouldn't be playing any role at all in Libya or Yemen.

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blight July 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

With that logic, we would've left Iraq when Saddam was bagged. It never is about the HVTs.

I find it hard to roll my eyes these days. If Obama doesn't pursue Al Qaeda, he's "weak on terror". He continues with the same policies, he's "bloodthirsty". Either way, the other party will always have brownie points out of it.

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Michael Burns June 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm

My latest novel is about an elite crew on a small ship fighting Somali pirates:
http://www.amazon.com/THE-HORN-ebook/dp/B0055WYPT

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kim June 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

For some reason no one has written a review of that book.

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blight June 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Even with free kindle samples, too.

Feels a little Tom Clancy, so I imagine it would sell well at airports next to Tom Clancy, Baldacci and the like.

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ew-3 June 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

"the sixth country where U.S. drones are dropping ordnance"

And I remember the fit the NY Times had over bombing in Cambodia, even when it was against the people that were trying to kill our troops in VN. Here the goal is much more abstract.

Where's their outrage now.

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blight June 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Didn't you hear, we're at war…or something. I guess Bush sucked the terrorism fruit dry and left the rind for Obama.

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blight June 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

But we're killing "High Value Targets" too (arms dealers…dime a dozen?)

That said, the legit solution would be getting the federal government up and running and supporting formation of a Somali Coast Guard.

In the bait ship department, you'd probably get more luck with a "oil tanker" that incurs "mechanical problems" right in the middle of shipping lanes. With millions of dollars of ransom in play what pirate wouldn't try their luck?

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Elijah Robinson June 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Evil is done under the cover of darkness and deception. Once light enters the darkness deception must cover the eyes of those who would see. Apples do not fall a long way from the tree. We are hitting the small apples. The big ones stay close to the tree.

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Cheesed June 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

You're mixing metaphors.

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ew-3 June 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I prefer my metaphors shaken and not stirred.

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blight June 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm

<Plays the X Files theme>

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anthony July 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm

They have done that before thats how people get into wars.We dont need that just stop all aid to Somalia 'Force them to make a government"so we can stop picking up pirates..

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Bazooka July 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

Hitler , dispersed its massive army in Russia so he beated. Like this Muslims will kick usa out of earth. You will se in 10 years

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SurakijV August 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

While I was trying to plans about evacuation of Somalia people (mostly women & children) who probably could not access to humanitarian aid because not in 2-5 kilometers radius from airport,and planned to enlighten them with "abstracts in rural developments,with modern days agriculture workshops & microfinancing similar to Bangladesh".
I just thought about Bancroft global development's urban defense plans quite very very interesting…
And I should watched & learned from them.
And I also thought about some inappropriate behaviours of irritating pests like ,Al Shabaab, who keep annoying & irritating beautiful Somalian babes and made humanitarian crisis worse,…Those kinds of inappropriate behaviours need "some therapy" immediately.

But look like U.S. DoD just therapy Al-Shabaab,
Without "wicked gundam" that come along with dozens of unmanned armed drones or something like that too.^^

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