Many Somalis, including a four-year-old child, have been killed in American air strikes on two villages in southern Somalia, the first known direct US intervention in the war that began last month. “We know that a US gunship raided targets of Al-Qaeda in the southern village of Badel sometime yesterday afternoon,” government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari told. “The target was a small village called Badel where the terrorists were hiding. And the gunship did hit on the exact target,” he said. “A lot of people were killed,” the government spokesman confirmed, though unable to elaborate on the victims’ identities.
Earlier, eyewitnesses told the Associated Press that a US gunship hit targets near Afmadow, 155 miles north of Ras Kamboni, killing at least one childe.
The US raid was the first overt US military intervention in the ongoing war in Somalia.
Western analysts insist that the US allowed regional ally Ethiopia to launch war against the SICS instead of any direct US intervention in the Somali conflict. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has confirmed joining hands with Ethiopia and the interim Somalia government in hunting down fleeing SICS leaders.
It also insists that suspects in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania used Somalia as a base.
Warlords have controlled Mogadishu since the 1991 overthrow of president Mohamed Siad Barre. A disastrous attempt by US forces to pacify Somalia in the early 1990s ended with a humiliating withdrawal after Somali militias shot down two US helicopters, killed 18 soldiers and dragged their bodies through the streets.