The Pentagon says U.S. airstrikes in Somalia killed more than 150 people it identified as militants at an al-Shabab training camp, marking one of the deadliest U.S. attacks to date in the so-called war on terror. The strikes hit what officials said they believed was a graduation ceremony. Officials said they were unaware of any civilian casualties but were unable to independently verify that. The strikes, carried out by drones and manned aircraft, marked the deadliest attack on the militant group al-Shabab during the more than decade-long U.S. campaign against it. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest emphasized the targets posed an “imminent threat” to U.S. and African Union forces.
Josh Earnest: “The fighters, who were scheduled to depart the camp, pose an imminent threat to U.S. and African Union mission forces in Somalia. Their removal, the removal of those terrorist fighters, degrades al-Shabab’s ability to meet the group’s objectives in Somalia, including recruiting new members, establishing bases and planning attacks on U.S. and AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) forces.”