BREAKING: The U.S. military strikes suspected al Qaeda targets in Somalia, a senior Pentagon official tells CNN. Woot!
-UPDATE: Remember Black hawk down? This ain't Bill Clinton they're up against. A U.S. gunship has conducted a strike against two suspected al Qaeda operatives in southern Somalia.
The U.S. Air Force plane, operated by the Special Operations Command, flew from its base in Djibouti to the southern tip of Somalia, where the al Qaeda suspects were believed to have fled from the capital Mogadishu, U.S. networks reported.
The two suspected al Qaeda operatives were not named but CBS News said one was a suspect in the car bomb attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the other was the Islamist group's senior leader in East Africa.
The report said many bodies were seen on the ground after the attack by the AC-130 gunship, but the identities of the dead were not confirmed. More here
UPDATE 1/9/07: Strategy Page :SOMALIA: The Great Chase
January 9, 2007: For the last few days, Ethiopian and Transitional Government troops have captured Ras Kamboni, a small port near the Kenyan border. This place has long been an Islamic Courts stronghold and training camp. American warships are off the coast some 22 kilometers, in international waters, checking any boats trying to leave Somalia. With the Islamic Courts smashed, the most organized and dedicated fighting force in the country is gone. But not completely, most members of the Islamic courts are still around, and will revive the organization in the next few months. They will be opposed by a stronger Transitional Government. Both organizations rely on the allegiance of clans for their power, and clans will often go with one side or the other, depending on which side traditional enemy clans have joined. The Ethiopians are not going to stick around, as they are ancient enemies of the Somalis, and are much hated in Somalia. Besides, all the Ethiopians wanted to do was knock the Islamic Courts down a few notches. The Ethiopians know they might have to come back and do in again in a year or so, but they've been slapping down the Somalis for centuries.
American Special Forces are helping in the hunt for known al Qaeda members who have been seen in Somalia in the last few months. Many captured Islamic Courts fighters tell of Arab, and other foreigner, fighters who have been helping them. The bodies of some of these foreigners have been found. The "foreigners" do not appear inclined to be taken alive.