– KISMAYO OFFENSIVE
Al-Shabab commander Sheikh Mohamed Abu-Fatma confirmed the withdrawal orders to AFP: “We got orders from our superiors to withdraw from the city… this is part of broader military tactics we have set for the enemy.”
A spokesman for the Kenyan military said he feared the withdrawal might be a trap, so at present no-one is in control of Kismayo. Kenyan troops had launched airborne and amphibious landings before dawn on Friday, supported by Somali government forces. The key beach landing was near the main road to Mogadishu. The Kenyan military said the city was expected to fall quickly but al-Shabab continued its resistance throughout the day.
The loss of Kismayo will be a major blow to the Islamists since the port town was the economic base of al-Shabab and its route of supply and volunteers from all over the Radical Muslim World, including several hundreds from the Western Democracies (see also – Kismayo 08.25.08).
But al-Shabab is still highly active in much of the countryside in southern and central Somalia and have carried out suicide bombings and other attacks in cities they no longer control. After the fall of Kismayo al-Shabab is no longer a threat to the regime as such. Al-Shabab’s international connections and support is sharply reduced but they are still a threat to internal stability in the country.
- 09/2012 -KENYA FOILED A JIHADI TERROR CAMPAIGN
- 07/2012 -FORMER SOMALI TRADE MINISTER KILLED IN MOGADISHU
- 07/2012 -17 KILLED IN GARISSA CHURCHES ATTACK IN KENYA
- 06/2012 -2 IRANIANS ARRESTED IN KENYA OVER TERROR