The U.S. military has requested that the White House grant it more freedom in its approach to fighting a terror group that has been wreaking havoc in North Africa in recent years, reported. Aggressions by the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia could erupt into an all-out war, but the head of U.S. Africa Command was looking for ways to avoid turning the country into a “free-fire zone,” he said Friday.
Specifically, Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser was looking for “a little bit more flexibility” to “process targets in a more rapid fashion,” he told reporters at the Pentagon. That “flexibility” could include anything from authorizing drone strikes to must stronger military force. Waldhauser was looking to “power-down the decision making” to neutralize al-Shabab’s power in the region.
Al-Shabab, which is affiliated with the al-Qaeda militant group, has been launching offensives in North Africa since around 2006 in opposition to the country’s Western backing. The terror group has wanted to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law throughout the nation to make it become a literal Islamic state.
Some of the group’s bloodiest attacks include suicide bombings in Uganda that killed 70 people and an assault on a college in Kenya that claimed 147 lives in 2015.