MOGADISHU, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- The United States army said on Monday evening it conducted an airstrike in southern Somalia on Sunday, killing six al-Shabab militants in its latest second strike this year.
The U.S. Africa Command (Africom) said no civilian was killed in the drone strike which was carried out in coordination with Somali government in the vicinity of Dheerow Sanle in Lower Shabelle Region.
"This airstrike was conducted to diminish al-Shabaab's freedom of movement and to increase pressure on the terrorist network in the area," Africom said in a statement.
The U.S. military whose strikes have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions, said the latest attack destroyed one vehicle.
"We remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, its forces, and its partners in the fight against al-Shabaab," said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg P. Olson, director of operations of U.S. Africa Command.
"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conduct precision airstrikes such as this to foil terrorist plans, eliminate al-Shabaab terrorists and reduce the enemy's freedom of maneuver," Olson added.
Africom vowed it will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the Somali government and its Member States.
It also said the U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to protect the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the government, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.