US General: Strikes in Somalia Won’t Stop Al-Shaba

The U.S. military’s air campaign against al-Shabab in Somalia will not stop the jihadists, a top U.S. general said Thursday as he called on the east African nation’s army to take more responsibility in the fight.

The Pentagon is running an ongoing mission in which U.S. forces work with African Union and Somali national security forces to fight the al-Shabab movement.

“At the end of the day, these strikes are not going to defeat al-Shabab,” the U.S. military’s Africa Command head, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The bottom line is the Somalian national army needs to grow, it needs to step up and it needs to take responsibility for their own security,” he added.

Since early 2017, the U.S. has increased the number of strikes it conducts, with 35 that year, 47 in 2018 and about 12 so far this year, Waldhauser said.