Kenyan army advances toward jihadist-held Somali port city amid reports of broader international involvement

Jihad Watch

The Kenyan military is reported to be advancing toward Kismayo, accompanied by aerial bombardment of the city. With or without international assistance to the Kenyan military, al-Shabaab seems at last to have bitten off more than it can chew with its recent cross-border kidnappings.

“Kenya Says Western Nations Join Fight in Somalia, as U.S. Denies Role,” by Josh Kron and Jeffrey Gettleman for the New York Times, October 23:

NAIROBI, Kenya — Foreign military forces have joined the offensive against the Shabab militant group in Somalia as Kenyan troops advanced toward the rebel stronghold of Kismayu from two different directions, Kenya said Sunday.

A Kenyan military spokesman, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, said that “one of the partners,” possibly the United States or France, had been behind airstrikes in the past few days, killing a number of Shabab militants. The French Navy has also shelled rebel positions from the sea, the Kenyan military said in a statement……Two senior American officials in Washington said Sunday that neither the United States military nor the Central Intelligence Agency had carried out airstrikes in Somalia in recent days. One of the officials, who follows American military operations closely, said the Kenyan offensive had forced many Shabab fighters and commanders to disperse, making them easier potential targets, but emphasized that there had been “no U.S. military strikes in Somalia at all recently.”

American officials in Kenya declined to comment. A French diplomat in the United States did not return phone calls…

Read the complete article at Jihad Watch.

H/T Winds of Jihad

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