first published on January 5, 2020 by Will
Ash-Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate, has claimed responsibility for a Jan. 5, 2019, attack on a base used by US AFRICOM in Lamu county, Kenya, near the border of Somalia.
According to Kenya’s Defense Forces (KDF), the insurgent assault against the Manda Bay Airfield was successfully repulsed, but images and videos circulating on social media suggest significant damage was inflicted to aircraft.
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) January 5, 2020
US Africa Command acknowledged the attack, stating “Working alongside our Kenyan partners, the airfield is cleared and still in the process of being fully secured,” the press release continued, “Al-Shabaab has put out multiple press releases exaggerating the security situation on the ground. This practice has proven common place for this terror organization.”
At least four of the attackers’ bodies were recovered, as well as several weapons and equipment. Local reports said a US C-146 Wolfhound and a modified Dash 8-202 spy plane were destroyed as well as two US helicopters and multiple ground vehicles. Those reports were not confirmed by the US. No Kenyan or AFRICOM reports have been released regarding friendly casualties.
Camp Simba, the US base sharing the effected airstrip, became a permanent AFRICOM installation in August of 2019.