Last Monday night, the US Air Force launched an air strike
against Islamist fighters in southern Somalia. An AC-130 was
used to eliminate the three suspects believed to be involved
in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dares Salaam.
the first overt US military operation in Somalia, although,
Somalia had been at the centre of invisible war - mainly covert
operations such as snatching operations. In July 2005, a report
published by the International Crisis Group noted, "
away from the spotlight, a quiet, dirty conflict is being
waged in Somalia: in the rubble-strewn streets of the ruined
capital of this state without a government, Mogadishu, al-Qaeda
operatives, jihadi extremists, Ethiopian security services
and Western-backed counter-terrorism networks are engaged
in a shadowy and complex contest waged by intimidation, abduction
After Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia, this country has become
the new front in America's war on terror. The aerial bombing
took place in an area near the Kenyan border and it is too
early to know the exact number of people killed or wounded
and whether the targeted suspects were liquidated. However,
a high number of casualties were reported. A senior Somali
government official told the Reuters news agency: "There
are so many dead bodies and animals in the village."
has the world reacted to the US strike?
Abdullahi Yusuf, told a group of journalists: "I don't
know that air strike was in two places or not, but if it's
confirmed, I agree with the Americans to target those who
were behind the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa."
Hussein Aideed, Somalia's deputy prime minister, explained
the US strike: "the US was trying to kill the al-Qaida
terrorists who carried out the bomb attacks on their embassies
in Kenya and Tanzania.
our full support for the attacks." Somali Information
Minister Ali Ahmed Jama gave this reaction: "The Islamists
are hiding in the thick jungle and it's only air strikes that
eliminate them from there. The strikes ...will continue until
no terrorist survives."Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, a European
commission spokesman, disapproved the air strike: "Any
incident of this kind is not helpful in the long term."
Montas, a spokesman of the UN Secretary-General, expressed
concern over the consequence of the US action: "The Secretary
is concerned about the new dimension this kind of action could
introduce to the conflict and the possible escalation of hostilities
that may result."
a consultant to the International Crisis Group, taunted: "If
no foreigners died, this will just be the latest element in
a comedy of errors by the US and a step towards the new Iraq
a former CIA agent, made this analysis: "It's akin to
the heart of darkness, just shooting into the jungle. At the
end of the day you are just making more enemies."Simon
Tisdall of the Guardian wrote: "The US air strikes in
Somalia could hinder rather than help efforts to resolve the
country's internal crisis."
Cornwell of the Institute for Security Studies in Johannesburg
saw it as: "The AC130 is an appallingly blunt instrument
and I very much doubt it can be used to target individuals.
To kill alleged terrorists regardless of collateral damage
is highly hypocritical."