In what the US is calling a “misdirected” airstrike, some 22 Somali citizens and soldiers were killed by a US missile fired from a drone intended to take out al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabab militia members.
According to the BBC, the airstrike may have been a ruse by one region in Somalia seeking to settle scores with another courtesy of US military might: “Officials in the semi-autonomous region of Galmudug accused neighboring Puntland of misleading the US into believing they had targeted extremists.”
Both al-Shabab itself and the Somali military affirmed that there were none of the Islamist militants present in the region at the time of the US airstrike.
The battle between the Somali government and al-Shabab has been ongoing for the last decade, with the US engaged as part of its “Operation Enduring Freedom” for the horn of Africa.
Since 2007, the US has killed upwards of 500 people via drone strikes in Somalia.
Ironically, as the US continues to launch drone attacks against al-Qaeda affiliated rebels in Somalia, it protects, arms, and trains al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front rebels in Aleppo, Syria, according to the al-Qaeda commander there.