The Ethiopian National Defence Force, ENDF, says its Air Force has bombarded bases of militant group Al-Shabaab in Somalia killing two leaders of the group in the process.
A statement from the Ministry of Defense sent to the state broadcaster, EBC, confirmed the attacks that lasted about 45 minutes were carried out on January 24 in Bur Haybe, located 75km east of Baidoa, capital of the South West regional state.
The report said aside the killing of Abdu Osman and Abdusalem – the group’s operations chief and a grenade detonation expert, 35 Al Shabaab members were also killed.
Breaking: #Ethiopian Air Force has undertaken 44 minutes-long airstrike on Al-Shabab base in Bur Haybe, 75 km East of Baidoa,in southern #Somalia. A statement from the ministry of defense sent to EBC said 35 members of Al-Shabab were killed in the airstrike carried out on Jan. 24 pic.twitter.com/H6wkHevwUM— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) January 29, 2019
Around January 18, Somali media outlets reported that Ethiopian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, had been ambushed in Baidoa and that casualties had been reported.
Subsequent reports indicated that the Ethiopian contingent were preparing an onslaught on Al-Shabaab. Security watchers believe the aerial attacks of January 24 could be the said response.
The Ethiopian contingent are part of the wider AMISOM operation. The mission is mandated by the African Union Peace and Security Council and authorized by the United Nations Security Council.
Troop contributing countries include Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia. It also has a police force with personnel from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.
The force is a major player in the fight against Al-Shabaab and supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, FGS.