On Monday the Pentagon announced it had killed at least 150 Islamist militants in a drone strike on an al Shabaab training camp. But in a phone interview with Al Jazeera, the Somali terror group denied that it suffered such large losses.
“The Americans are dreaming,” said Abdulaziz Abu Musab, a Shabaab military spokesman. “We never gather that many of our fighters in one place. We know the security situation.” He admitted that their Raso military camp was in fact hit, “but the number they are telling the world is a lie.”
According to the Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davies, the military base target of the strike was used to train soldiers for large scale operations — and that they were preparing an attack at that very moment. Davies said they were planning to hit the international coalition troops fighting Al Shabaab with the aim to support the weak but internationally recognized Somali government.
Both African Union troops and the United States military are headquartered at the Baledogle Airfield military base, 80 miles from the Shabaab base camp. Attacking foreign military bases is a consolidated strategy for rebels. On Jan. 15 al Shabaab launched a military operation against an African Union base in El Adde, southwest Somalia, killing at least 180 Kenyan soldiers.
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