Developments in Somalia.

Discussion in 'Military News and Clips' started by Rover, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    Turkey to Open Its Largest Overseas Military Base in Somalia.

    • Largest Turkish military base abroad is to be opened in Mogadishu, Somalia, in September.
    • Last year, Turkey opened in Mogadishu its largest embassy.
    • Turkish base will be a training camp for the Somali military.
    • It has the capacity to train 1,500 troops at a time.
    • Somalia is still under attack by radical Islamists such as the Al-Shabab group.
    Turkey is going to open its largest military base abroad, which will be a military training camp, in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu next month, the Somali Defense Minister has announced.

    Somalia has been in disarray since the collapse of the dictatorship of its leader Siad Barre in 1991.

    Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Somalia was seen as an example of a failed state in which the central government in Mogadishu has had little ontrol over most of the country’s, much of which saw the rise of powerful warlords involved in smuggling and piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

    Some of Somalia’s regions, most notably, Somaliland and Puntland in the north, remain largely autonomous from the government in Mogadishu, which has proper control over only a relatively small region around the capital. While Puntland is seen as a pro-government territory, Somaliland in the northwest has proclaimed its independence.

    Islamist militant group Al-Shabab still controls large territories in the southern third of Somalia after it was pushed out of Mogadishu by Somali and African Union forces a few years ago.

    Militants declaring allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”) are reported to have emerged in Northern Somalia. An Al-Shabab force recently stormed a military base in Puntland.

    Back in April 2017, the US Africa Command announced that several dozens of regular US troops would be sent to Somalia for the first time since 18 US special force personnel were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu back in 1993 (the Battle of Mogadishu recreated in the 2001 Oscar-winning film “Black Hawk Down”).

    The Horn of Africa sees increasing attention by global powers, with China recently sending troops to its first military base overseas in Somalia’s neighbor Djibouti, a country already hosting military installations of the US, France, Italy, and Japan.

    In the past few years, NATO, EU, Chinese and Russian vessels have participated in missions off the coasts of Somalia and Yemen, including against the Somali pirates, in the Gulf of Aden, gateway to one of the world’s busiest trade route, the Suez Canal.

    ‘Strengthening’ the Somali Army

    A Turkish military training camp, which will be Turkey’s largest military base oversees, is set to open in the Somali capital Mogadishu next month, Somalia’s Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed announced on Thursday, as cited by Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

    Mohamed revealed in a statement that the Turkish military camp which had been under construction for the last two years was to open this September.

    “We will begin deploying soldiers at the facility. Our army and other forces will receive training at the camp,” he said, stressing that the Turkish camp would help strengthen the Somali Army.

    The facility which is Turkey’s largest overseas military camp, is spread over 4 square km (1.54 square miles) and has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time.

    It also holds three military residential complexes and schools.

    More than 200 Turkish military personnel will come to the facility to train the Somali Armed Forces and provide security to the compound, according to the Turkish mission in Somalia.

    Turkey opened its largest embassy in Mogadishu last year, to help the East African country fight drought.

    Because of the ongoing civil conflict and a drought, Somalia is presently facing a devastating famine crisis, while its coast has recently seen the return of Somali pirates to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean for the first time since 2012.

    The 22,000 troops of the African Union stationed in Somalia are planned to withdraw by the end of 2020, beginning in 2018.
  2. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    AFRICOM targets Shabaab twice in southern Somalia

    By Bill Roggio | August 11th, 2017 | | @billroggio

    US Africa Command (AFRICOM) launched two “kinetic strikes” against Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, earlier today. The US military has now targeted Shabaab in three separate operations over the past two weeks.

    Today’s two strikes took place “near the Banadir region in southern Somalia,” according to AFRICOM. Banadir is the administrative district which encompasses the capital of Mogadishu.

    AFRICOM did not provide the targets of the two strikes or announce if any Shabaab leaders or fighters, or civilians, were killed or wounded in the operation. AFRICOM said it would “continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate.”

    The last attack on Shabaab, which took place on July 30, killed Ali Muhammad Hussein, a Shabaab commander who is also known as Ali Jabal. According to AFRICOM, Ali Jabal “was responsible for leading al-Shabaab forces operating in the Mogadishu and Banadir regions in planning and executing attacks against the capital of Mogadishu.”

    FDD’s Long War Journal has recorded 37 such operations against Shabaab or the Islamic Courts since 2006. The number of US military operations in Somalia may well be higher, however, it has been difficult to track strikes against Shabaab as there are multiple actors involved in targeting the group, including Kenyan and Ethiopian sources. The US military has not released statements for every encounter. Additionally, for a long period of time, Iranian news outlets muddied the waters by attributing nearly every action against Shabaab in southern Somalia as a US drone strike. Verifiable press reporting has also been inconsistent.

    Under the Trump administration, the US military has stepped up its targeting of Shabaab since the group gained ground in 2016. The US State Department attributed some of Shabaab’s gains “due largely to lapses in offensive counterterrorism operations during 2016.”

    Last year, Shabaab attacks killed hundreds of African Union forces from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, and Ethiopia. These Shabaab assaults have forced African Union troops to withdraw from some cities and towns in southern Somalia, including one as recently as last week, when Shabaab took control of the town of Lego.

    Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.
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  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    No brick left unturned, I imagine. :)
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    • Hoofin Hoofin x 1
  4. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    Rather an active area....note date.

    Al-Shabaab militants storm Somalia military base

    Al-Shabaab militants battled with African Union (AU) troops in Somalia on Friday after exploding a car bomb at peacekeepers' base south of Mogadishu

    By Stephanie Findlay

    8:07PM BST

    26 Jun 2015

    Al-Shabaab militants claimed to have killed scores of African Union peacekeepers on Friday after overrunning a military base in a village in southern Somalia, the latest attack during the insurgents' annual Ramadan fighting season.

    In a statement broadcast on the Islamic group’s radio station, Radio Andalus, al-Shabaab said it had killed more than 30 African Union peacekeepers in Leego, a town some 100km northwest of the capital Mogadishu.

    The military outpost is manned by Burundian soldiers who are part of the 22,000 strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

    Residents said the dawn raid started with a suicide bomber driving a car loaded with explosives into the entrance of the base, before dozens of militants armed with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades began their assault.

    "We could see smoke and hear explosions, there was heavy fighting in the AMISOM base with heavily armed al-Shabaab fighters," said Hassan Mohamed, a resident.

    Several other witnesses confirmed heavy fighting at the base.

    "The Black Islamic flag is flying over the main base of AMISOM in Lego this morning and the dead bodies of the enemy are scattered around the area, the mujahideen fighters have taken all their military supplies," Mohamed Abu-Yahya, an al-Shebaab commander said.

    AMISON issued a statement condemning the “callous attack” in Leego.

    “This attack will not diminish our resolve to continue to support the Somali Government and people until they are free from terrorism”, said AMISOM head Ambassador Maman Sidikou.

    The al-Qaeda affiliate is fighting to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed government which is propped up and protected by AMISOM.

    Under military pressure at home al-Shabaab is increasingly turning its attention to Kenya where it has launched a string of recent deadly assaults.

    The Islamic militants commonly step up their attacks during Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan.
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  5. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    Al-Shabaab Mining Uranium in Central Somalia to Send to Iran, Somali Official Asks Urgent U.S. Intervention

    Friday September 01, 2017 - 18:08:45 in Latest News by SomaliUpdate Staff Reporter

    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Al-Shabaab militant group has seized control of uranium mines in central Somalia with the intent of supplying the material to Iran, according to a diplomatic letter from a top Somali official appealing to the



    MOGADISHU (Somali Update Online) — Al-Shabaab militant group has seized control of uranium mines in central Somalia with the intent of supplying the material to Iran, according to a diplomatic letter from a top Somali official appealing to the U.S. for "immediate military assistance."

    During the past three months, there have been growing activities by the Al-Qaeda affiliate group in central Somalia region of Galgadud under the Galmudug State, where the militant group captured large swathes of rural villages and districts including those on the coastline of the Indian Ocean.

    The letter, sent by Foreign Minister Yusuf Garad Omar, was addressed to U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz. Somalia's Ambassador to the U.S. Ahmed Awad confirmed on Thursday that the letter "has indeed been issued" by Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Garaad Omar, whose signature is on the document.

    The Aug. 11-dated letter delivered an urgent warning to the U.S. that the Al-Shabaab terror network has linked up with the regional Islamic State (ISIS) faction and is "capturing territory" in the central part of the country.

    "Unlike past situations that required external intervention, the issue communicated today presents a problem for the larger global community and will not be constrained within the borders or our recovering country." the Somali Foreign Minister's letter said.

    Somalia and Iran had no diplomatic ties since January 2016, when Mogadishu officially severed Tehran relations and expelled its Mogadishu-based Ambassador accusing of spreading Shiism in Somalia.

    Nuclear weapons

    "This issue can be summed up in a single word: uranium," the letter added. "Al-Shabaab forces have captured critical surface exposed uranium deposits in the Galmudug region and are strip mining triuranium octoxide for transport to Iran.”

    For the Trump administration, the warning represents yet another potential security threat, as the U.S. government simultaneously grapples with a nuclear standoff with North Korea, the prospect of a stalemate in Afghanistan and ISIS activity across the Middle East and North Africa.

    But the letter said "now is not the time to look away," urging the U.S. ambassador to consider the request for intelligence and military assistance.

    "Only the United States has the capacity to identify and smash Al-Shabaab elements operating within our country. The time for surgical strikes and limited engagement has passed, as Somalia’s problems have metastasized into the World’s problems,” the letter said. "Every day that passes without intervention provides America's enemies with additional material for nuclear weapons. There can be no doubt that global stability is at stake."

    Ambassador Awad said that the letter has been acknowledged by the State Department.

    The State Department would not comment on the diplomatic letter, but according to U.S Fox News TV channel, the American officials did not dispute its authenticity and referred any media explanations to the government of Somalia.

    Iran was supposed to pull back on its nuclear program under the terms of the agreement struck with the Obama administration.

    Interestingly only recently the Galmudug government have been in talks with the Chinese to have a new port facility to be built at Hobyo and major road construction to serve the port from the area of the Uranium deposits!

    Ignore attached files.

    Attached Files:

  6. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    When you mention Somalia the vast majority of people think only of the so termed Federal Government in Mogadishu.

    Overlooked is both Somaliland and the autonomous region of Puntland.

    Puntland having a number of problems of its own in the fight against Daesh and related organisations.

    Somalia: Puntland and the struggle to contain Al shabaab Attacks

    By Former Puntland Intelligence Director Abdi Hassan Hussein (Abdi Yare)


    Failed political leadership and lack of experience within the ranks of Puntland security services have contributed to resurgent Al shabaab in consolidating power and carry out daring attacks against government forces without fear of retaliation.


    Al shabaab group maintains bases in northern Somalia, particularly Golis Mountains. The area is considered favourable because of its in-hospitable and harsh train environment.

    It offers bunkers suitable for purpose of hiding from drone attacks and it is convenient location to launch attacks against government forces without fear of without jeopardizing supply roots or fear of retaliation.

    Events in the last five months bare the whole marks of resurgent Al shabaab, for example, September 1, 2017, around mid-day, Al shabaab carried out simultaneous bombs at Khat market in the heart of Af Urur village located in Golis Mountains, resulting the deaths of over 35 people, including civilians and soldiers.

    Based on reliable Intelligence information, the operation was conducted via sleeper cells associated with Al shabaab that infiltrated the village without the knowledge of the Puntland forces.

    June 8, 2017, Al shabaab carried out one of the most heinous acts of terrorist in Puntland soil since the establishment of Somalia's northeastern semi-autonomous state in 1998, overrunning major military base in Af Urur within the vicinity of Golis Mountains, killing and maiming over 45 soldiers and officers.

    The government has declined to acknowledge the serious nature of attack, but, when Al Shabaab released the footages of the operation from beginning to the end, claiming massive victory of propaganda, the government helplessly tried to contain the political failure and initiated a fact-finding mission to ascertain what happened? How did it happened? who knew what? and why the base that was created to eradicate Al Shabaab from the region was itself a victim of the threat posed higly motivated Al shabaab fighters?

    From the outset, the fact-finding committee that composed of ministerial level members who never had the experience nor the ability to thoroughly research all facts pertaining to the ability and threat level posed by Al shabaab terrorist organization and publicly report their finding for fear of tarnishing the reputation of the government.

    Thus, there is no official statement from the government pertaining to what happened and the loss of live, property and equipment, a clear indication and an object failure on the part of the government to own their failure in terms of security of the state and its citizens.

    Based on sound judgment and available intelligence number of inter-twined factors led to the base been overrun;

    a) Lack of experience of the security officers in charge to lead Puntland forces.

    b) Incorporating militants into Puntland forces without proper background checks, number of supposedly informed militants were stationed in the base during the attack.

    c) It is widely reported the operation was directed within and bore the whole marks of an inside job on behalf of Al shabaab.

    d) Lack of comprehensive strategy mission and directives in dealing with Al shabaab, in particularly Golis Mountains, and the misconception that if officers are stationed within the vicinity, Al shabaab will not attack. The government will not win the war by sitting and reacting to attacks rather than attacking the enemy.

    e) Lack of community engagement, Al shabaab has succeeded in winning the hearts and minds of the locals, albeit, through coercive and fear of prosecution.

    f) Lack of coordination between security agencies withing Puntland and for that matter within the region, in particular, Somaliland, and Galmudug.

    g) The policy of releasing convicted terrorists by the government still continues, despite, the warning of UN monitoring group in the final report which accused the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali "Gaas" of personally ordering the release of these prisoners via back room deals.

    h) Despite harsh economic time and difficult challenges, whatever resources available, the government is stiffened through corruption at the highest level. Withholding entitled salaries for civil servants and security officers, while finds the means to bribe members of the Parliament at cost of two million US dollars, to endorse lucrative deals of self-interest on behalf of International companies, amounts to treason and abuse of power, and a clear violation of the trust between the public and the government.

    Indeed, pursuing such opened ended corrupt practices, encourages Al shabaab to recruit more sympathizers tired of self-interest politicians who don't care about the people.


    Developing comprehensive strategy with clear guidelines and protocols is a necessary remedy and a starting point, if Al shabaab is wanted to be eradicated from and within Puntland.

    Here is a list of recommendations, and actionable points, that needs to be pursued by Puntland.

    a) Leaving aside Political supremacy and border disputes is necessary for Puntland government to establish closer coordination mechanism with Galmudug and Somalia, such measure leads to un-hindered information and Intelligence sharing which is significant for the defeating of Al shabaab and its affiliated organizations.

    b) developing clear objects, increasing the level of Intelligence activities in areas operated by Al shabaab, provides the government with clear picture of activity, strength and capabilities of Al shabaab, including their modus operandi.

    c) Empowering the judiciary and halting the release of convicted Al shabaab fighters.

    d) Liaising and coordinating with International partners in the fight against Al shabaab.

    e) Establishing closer coordination mechanism between the desperate Puntland security institutions.

    f) Holding the senior government officials for their failure in leadership, management and accountable.

    g) Eradicating corruption which is arguably the single most tool of Al shabaab propaganda to win the hearts and minds.

    Aforementioned list is by no means exhausting, but, an urgent pre-requisite for the defeat of Al shabaab. Taking those steps ensures that the government is serious about tackling the menace of International terrorism from within Puntland and collectively through the region.

    Former Puntland Intelligence Director Abdi Hassan Hussein (Abdi Yare) currently he is a Security analyst and a contributor to Garowe Onine
  7. Rover

    Rover Moderator

    Oct 23, 2008
    Turkey has opened a military base in Somalia as it steps up its Africa engagement

    Written by

    Abdi Latif Dahir

    October 03, 2017 Quartz africa

    Turkey has opened its largest overseas military base in Somalia, cementing its relationship with the war-torn nation and strengthening its strategic place in the African continent.

    The $50 million base was opened on Saturday (Sept. 30) and will train more than 10,000 soldiers. The move is part of an effort to institutionalize and restructure the police and military services, battle the terrorist group al-Shabaab, and help expand the government’s authority into more towns and regions. The new base also takes on an urgent significance as the 2020 withdrawal deadline for the 22,000 African Union multinational force gets closer.

    By setting shop in Somalia, Turkey has become the latest country to set up a military facility in the horn of Africa nation. The United States runs clandestine operations from a base in the Lower Shabelle region, while the United Arab Emirates is expected to build a base in the self-declared region of Somaliland.

    Turkey’s deepening engagement in Somalia has helped make discernible changes to the war-ravaged country in sectors ranging from health to infrastructure, education, and trade. Turkey has funneled millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Somalia, and especially during the devastating 2011 famine that killed 250,000 people.

    In 2011, current president and then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Somalia was the first high-profile visit by a non-African head of state in almost two decades. Erdogan went on to build Turkey’s largest embassy in the world in Mogadishu. Turkey also built schools, mosques, and hospitals—including the largest medical complex in the country.

    Turkey also augmented its investments, building and managing the Mogadishu port and international airport, and increasing bilateral trade to 72.3 million in 2015. Somalia also became one of Turkish Airlines’ most profitable destinations worldwide.

    The military base in Somalia is also a reminder that despite Turkey’s growing regional and national problems, Africa remains central to its global expansion strategy. Since 2005, Africa has remained a policy priority for Ankara, with engagements taking place in the fields of diplomacy, trade, investment, aid, education, and security. Since 2009, Turkey has increased its diplomatic missions in Africa from 12 to 39. In 2011, Turkish Airlines flew to 14 African cities; by the end of 2017, it will operate 52 routes from Istanbul across Africa.

    As David Shinn of Chatham House wrote, this increased alignment is “driven by the region’s growing economic importance to Ankara; its interest in diversifying away from the Middle East; and the apparent desire for influence among sub-Saharan Africa’s large Muslim population.”

    But the congeniality with Turkey has sometimes come at a cost for African nations. Following the attempted coup in July 2016, Turkey asked several African governments to close down schools aligned with Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled religious leader who was accused of orchestrating the failed coup. Countries like Somalia, which heavily depend on Turkish aid, closed the schools—refusing to heed the appeals of teachers, students, and workers who benefited from the school network.

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