United States conducts airstrikes against IS in Somalia

The United States military has conducted its first airstrikes against ISIS in Somalia, where the US typically strikes against the al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab, according to a USA official.

The strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia's government, the statement said.

The first strike occurred at approximately midnight local Somalia time with the second separate strike occurring at approximately 11 a.m. local Somalia time, Xinhua news agency quoted a statement issued by the US Africa Command as saying.

Those authorities enabled offensive airstrikes in Somalia.

According to Voice of America, which cited the chairman of the town of Qandala in the semiautonomous region of Puntland, six missiles hit an Isil base in Buqa village, 60 kilometers (35 miles) away. In May, the group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in northern Somalia that killed five and injured 12.

A USA official told CNN the strikes were carried out by an unmanned drone.

The US military has carried out well over a dozen drone strikes against al-Shabab this year after the Trump administration approved expanded efforts against the group.

The airstrike may have targeted top leaders of the group, the official added. In April, President Donald Trump deployed USA troops to Somalia for the first time in 20 years.

The al Shabaab group aims to drive out the peacekeepers, topple Somalia's Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

It has a much bigger presence in the country than IS and was blamed for last month's attack in Somali capital Mogadishu, which killed more than 350 people.

The U.S. military angered locals in August after backing a mission involving Somali forces that killed 10 civilians, including children.

Friday's strikes also come in the wake of an ambush on October 4 in Niger that led to the deaths of four USA special forces soldiers.

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