WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), during a House panel hearing on Thursday, complained that U.S. President Donald Trump has dramatically intensified American airstrikes in her native Somalia that have killed hundreds of members of the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab.
Describing herself as “an African on this committee,” she suggested that the Trump administration should “reassess” the way it deals with al-Shabaab and other jihadis in Somalia.
Her comments came during a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar told the Trump administration witnesses invited to testify:
I just wanted to really get into this horrific reign of terror and its spread in Africa, and we oftentimes are really dealing with this issue, and it seems that we are attempting to drone it to death. … In Somalia, particularly in dealing with al-Shabaab, since President Trump has gotten elected, the number of drones have increased, but the number of attacks al-Shabaab has been able to carry out has also tripled. We also know the same to be true for Boko Haram.
On the African continent, the United States military only carries out direct airstrikes in Libya and Somalia. The U.S. does not directly target the Nigeria-based Boko Haram group, but it does support local efforts against the jihadis.
“There is sort of a direct correlation between our droning, and the increase of their [jihadis] assaults. And their recruitment seems to increase because of some of the civilian casualties that take place,” Omar stressed.
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