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2019 saw record U.S. airstrikes in Somalia. Why is al-Shabab surging?

2019 saw record U.S. airstrikes in Somalia. Why is al-Shabab surging?

Country: 
Somalia
News Date: 
15/01/2020
Lancastrian
Summary: 

Nearly 2,000 Somali civilians have probably been killed by al-Shabab since that change, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or , a nonprofit research group that aggregates reports of violence. Al-Shabab continues to control almost the entirety of rural southern and central Somalia, while staging such regular attacks on the capital, Mogadishu, where residents know any trip into the city center could be their last.

Al-Shabab is not at its strongest point. In 2011, before a 20,000-strong African Union force intervened, and before the United States ramped up its airstrikes, al-Shabab controlled every city in southern Somalia and appeared on the verge of taking Mogadishu. The group’s goal is still the same, however: to chase away, or at least outlast, foreign troops in Somalia, clearing the way for a broader takeover in which it could impose a strict version of Islamic law.