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US Drone Strike Targets al-Shabab Leader

Map of Somalia
Map of Somalia

The United States carried out a drone strike in Somalia against a senior leader from the militant group al-Shabab, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

Defense Department press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Saturday's Hellfire missile strike south of the capital, Mogadishu, targeted Yusef Dheeq, the group's chief of external operations and planning for intelligence and security.

Kirby said he could not confirm the results of the strike, but he said if successful, it would be a significant blow to the terrorist network.

The U.S. has been targeting the al-Shabab leadership in a series of strikes over the past few months.

In late December, the Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. strike killed intelligence chief Tahlil Abdishakur. The group's previous leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia on September 1.