- Nov 22, 2003
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UPDATED: AC-130 airstrikes on Al Qaeda in Somalia
site admin @ 6:44 pm
Thats what Fox News just reported. From what I can tell, Somali national and allied forces have the Islamic Courts and its Al Qaeda compatriots trapped in Somalias southern corner. Somali national forces (what StrategyPage calls Transitional National Government, TNG, or federal forces) and Ethiopian Army forces pushed the Islamic Courts militia south. The TNG and Ethiopians have the Islamic Courts boxed on land. The US Navy and coalition naval forces are covering the sea. I havent read anything about Kenyas special police and border security units, but its reasonable to assume these forces are positioned along the Kenya-Somali border, acting as a blocking unit to stop Islamic Courts exfiltrators.
StrategyPages Jim Dunnigan and I discussed the Ethiopian blitz last week on StrategyTalk. Were near-certain the US has provided intelligence data to the Ethiopians (probably real-time Predator imagery and target analysis for airstrikes). We rated it as highly likely US Special Forces and other special operations units were (are) on the ground, if only to coordinate with the naval vessels. In my mind the AC-130 attack and another reported helicopter attack confirm the presence of special ops forces the AC-130 is a special ops airframe and typically special ops troops in the area help coordinate the AC-130 strikes.
Another tv follow-up Fox is reporting that there are casualties in the area struck by the AC-130. This may be one of those rarities, a victory over Al Qaeda that will have releaseable television footage...