[QUOTE]U.S. Gunship Strikes Two Suspected Terror Targets in Somalia
Tuesday , January 09, 2007
Somalia — Two U.S. airstrikes in Somalia killed large numbers of Islamic extremists, government officials and witnesses said Tuesday. The targets were suspects in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
The attacks, by an AC-130 gunship, came after the terror suspects were spotted hiding on a remote island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border, Somali officials said. The island and a site 250 kilometers (155 miles) north were hit.
It was the first overt military action by the U.S. in Somalia since the 1990s and the legacy of a botched intervention — known as "Black Hawk Down" — that left 18 U.S. servicemen dead. The U.S. military said Tuesday it had sent an aircraft carrier to join three other U.S. warships conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.
U.S. warships have been seeking to capture Al Qaeda members thought to be fleeing Somalia after Ethiopia invaded Dec. 24 in support of the government and have begun flying intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia.
President Abdullahi Yusuf told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu, that the U.S. "has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." Monday, Yusuf had entered the restive capital for the first time since his election.
Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed told The Associated Press the U.S. had "our full support for the attacks."
But others in the capital said the attacks would only increase anti-American sentiment in the largely Muslim country.
"U.S. involvement in the fighting in our country is completely wrong," said Sahro Ahmed, a 37-year-old mother of five.
Already, many people in predominantly Muslim Somalia had resented the presence of troops from neighboring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two brutal wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.
Ethiopia forces had invaded Somalia to prevent an Islamic movement from ousting the weak, internationally recognized government from its lone stronghold in the west of the country. The U.S. and Ethiopia both accuse the Islamic group of harboring extremists, among them Al Qaeda suspects.
Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes took just 10 days to drive the Islamic group from the capital, Mogadishu, and other key towns.
President Yusuf said the leaders of the Islamic movement "would not be forgiven" and that talks between the two rival sides were not an option.
One U.S. attack took place on Monday afternoon on Badmadow island. The area is known as Ras Kamboni and is suspected to be a terror training base. Ethiopian and Somali troops had over the last days cornered the main Islamic force in Ras Kamboni, with U.S. warships patrolling off shore and the Kenyan military guarding the border to watch for fleeing militants.
Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed in another attack 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Afmadow town, including a small boy. The claims could not be independently verified.
"My 4-year-old boy was killed in the strike," Mohamed Mahmud Burale told the AP by telephone. "We also heard 14 massive explosions."
The AC-130, a four engine turboprop-driven aircraft, is armed with 40 mm cannon that fire 120 rounds per minute and a 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The plane's latest version, the AC-130U, known as "Spooky," also carries Gatling gun-type 20 mm cannon. The gunships were designed primarily for battlefield use to place saturated fire on massed troops.
"We don't know how many people were killed in the attack but we understand there were a lot of casualties," government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said. "Most were Islamic fighters."
U.S. officials said after the Sept. 11 attacks that extremists with ties to Al Qaeda operated a training camp at Ras Kamboni and Al Qaeda members are believed to have visited it. The alleged mastermind of the embassy bombings in East Africa, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, escaped to Ras Kamboni, according to testimony from one of the convicted bombers.
Mohammed is believed to be the leader of the Al Qaeda East Africa cell.
Leaders of the Islamic movement have vowed from their hideouts to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla war in Somalia, and Al Qaeda chief Usama bin Laden's deputy has called on militants to carry out homicide attacks on the Ethiopian troops.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since clan-based warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other, sinking the Horn of Africa nation of 7 million people into chaos.
At least 13 attempts at government have failed since then. The current government was established in 2004 with U.N. backing.
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that a U.N. peacekeeping force may be needed to guarantee security and stability in Somalia. He said Ugandan forces may be the first deployed to replace Ethiopian troops.
Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said Sunday that the United States would use its diplomatic and financial resources to support the government. The U.S. has pledged US$40 million (euro31 million) in political, humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance.
The African Union has begun planning for a peacekeeping force, and Uganda has promised at least 1,000 soldiers. Frazer has said she hopes the first troops will begin arriving in Mogadishu before the end of the month.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Jetdawgg]I wonder how many of them pushing for the "killing" would put them or their children on the front lines?[/QUOTE]
You never stop amazing me..you have a unique ability to put your foot in your mouth every time you post..do you know that??
[QUOTE=Come Back to NY]I realize you have the attention spam of Ozzy Osbounre but stop trying to change the topic and stay on the post....aka- stop being a hypocrite and stop practicing what you accuse others of...[/QUOTE]
This thread is about war. I asked the chap did he serve in the military. The US military does a lot of our fighting and did so in this case.
[QUOTE=DeanPatsFan]Our children were on the front lines on 9-11....[/QUOTE]
Yeah, these kids jsut had to die to settle "differences"
In the lib world, fatwas rule!
So was I my patriot Patriot compadre,
while this clueless latter day Benedict Arnold
was peeling potatoes in a galley decades ago.
The likes of the old AC-130s and up to their modern successors
that now can fire 20mm and 25mm rounds in the area of a football field
in a few minutes and other things that kill with extreme prejudice like UAVs
(the U stands for UNMANNED which means no one is inside)
are our best defense and friends.
We're attacking Al-Qaeda...
No oil in Somalia...
Finishing Clinton's unfinished business...
Avenging Kenya's '98 loss with the help
What's not to like?
I have preferences in this life.
I prefer our enemies become pink dust and not us.
Would they avoid targeting churches as we avoid
mosques armed to the teeth?
I think not!
Peace through Superior Firepower!
Last edited by flushingjet; 01-09-2007 at 01:01 PM.