Pentagon says al-Shabab training camp, 195km north of Mogadishu, targeted over the weekend.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said 150 militants, who are believed to be dead, were in the area planning a “large-scale” attack, according to the BBC.
Al Shabaab wants to topple a Western-backed government in Mogadishu and impose its strict version of Islamic law on Somalia.
Around the time that the U.S. drone strike was announced on Monday, Australia’s navy said it had seized a huge cache of weapons near the coast of Oman from a fishing boat bound for Somalia.
Monaco, the counterterrorism adviser, described the strikes as one tool in a fight against terrorism that has entered a new, unpredictable phase almost 15 years after the 9/11 attacks. The group became especially notorious after massacring 147 students at Garissa college in neighboring Kenya in April 2015 and has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State since 2008.
The death toll is the largest in a us military attack in the post-9/11 era, according to the Guardian. No civilians were known to be among the casualties, he said.
He said the US estimated that as many as 200 fighters had been at the camp, including a number of trainers. In 2013, Obama tightened rules for drone attacks, requiring that a target poses a continuing and imminent threat and that the U.S.is near-certain that no civilians will be killed.
The terror group has been raising its profile with attacks that have killed over 150 people during the past two months, and claimed responsibility for the failed bomb attack on a jetliner in February.
Witnesses tell VOA’s Somali Service that the airstrike hit Al-Shabab’s Raso training camp between the villages of Dharyiow and El-Dibi in the central Hiran region.
U.S. drones are based at Camp Lemonier in neighbouring Djibouti, from where they have been dispatched to kill individual al-Shabaab commanders. In Somalia, al-Shabaab focuses its attacks against African Union targets.
Al-Shabab first took control of Mogadishu in 2006 after its fighters ousted local warlords.