Somali Transitional President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (L) and former president of Somalia Abdul Qaasim Salad Hassan (R) chat in Mogadishu after holding a closed door meeting. Somali officials accused the United States of launching new air strikes on suspected Al-Qaeda sites in southern Somalia, but Washington denied carrying out any further operations amid doubt over the results.
The United States, facing growing international criticism over an air strike targeting al Qaeda suspects in Somalia, denied reports on Wednesday it had carried out further strikes.
A Somali government source and a local lawmaker said U.S. planes struck several sites on Wednesday after an assault on Monday against a village where the suspects were thought to be hiding.
But an official in Washington said, “There have been no additional attacks.”
U.S. government sources said U.S. ally Ethiopia, which defeated Islamist forces in a lightning war last month, had conducted further air strikes since Monday.
The Somali officials did not say how they distinguished between U.S and Ethiopian planes operating in the remote southern area where Islamists were driven after their defeat.
The government source said four new U.S. strikes hit areas near Ras Kamboni, a coastal village close to the Kenyan border long thought by Western and East African intelligence agencies to be a hide-out and training camp for Islamic militants.
“As we speak now, the area is being bombarded by the American air force,” said the source, talking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
And of course Amnesty International and other appeasers are bitchin’ about American involvement in Somalia. Flap doesn’t care who kills the Al Qaeda members and the other radical Jihadists – just as long as they are dead.
This image released by the US Navy shows flight operations from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at an undisclosed US Central Command area.
Amnesty International said it had written to the U.S. government expressing concern, echoing U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, France, the European Union, former colonial power Italy, Egypt and the Arab League.
“We are concerned that civilians may have been killed as a result of a failure to comply with international humanitarian law,” said Claudio Cordone, an Amnesty International official.
At the United Nations, the Security Council raised no questions or objections on Wednesday after a U.S. diplomat told a closed-door meeting on Somalia that Washington’s air strike on Monday targeted “a high-level al Qaeda leader.”
“There was no discussion of this particular issue and I have no comment on that,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the council president for January, told reporters after the meeting.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said there had been just one U.S. air attack with no civilian casualties.
Map Courtesy of Bill Roggio
Technorati Tags: Somalia, Ethiopia, EritreaAbuTalhaal-Sudani, GouledHassanDourad, FazulAbdullahMohammed, SalehAliSalehNabhan