The drone strike occurred around the same time Somali and African Union forces launched Operation Indian Ocean, a renewed offensive to drive Shabaab out of their strongholds. Despite the operation and despite being driven from Barawe, the group still remains an active threat in southern Somalia, as well as in Mogadishu. On Oct 12, Shabaab launched a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack in the Somali capital that killed seven. On the same day, the groupattempted an assassination of the head of Somali Channel Television.
Another car bomb occurred in Mogadishu on Nov. 1, in which one person lost their life. And on Nov 3, two female teachers and a Foreign Affairs Ministry official were killed in drive-by shootings. That being said, the African Union and Somali troops have been tremendous at counter-attacking Shabaab in various parts of Somalia.
In the video above, Shabaab showcases a complex attack on a village in the Lower Shebelle. The attack, which included attacking the town from two different sides, appears to have occurred around dawn. The attackers assault the village with AK assault rifles, RPG's, and PK machine guns. Throughout the attack, the voices of Mustafa al Yazid, or Saeed al Masri. Al Masri, a longtime member of al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in 2010. The video also features a short excerpt from a longer speech by the infamous Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Zarqawi was the founder of al Qaeda in Iraq and was ruthless in killing American and coalition forces before his death in 2006.
Retakes Kudha Island
Al Shabaab has also reportedly retaken the incredibly strategic Kudha Island in the Lower Juba region. The island, which has changed hands at least twice in the past few months, is close to Shabaab's former stronghold of Kismayo. Before losing it a few months ago, Shabaab controlled the island for seven years. Business Standard quotes a local elder as saying, "There was heavy fighting inside Kudha village. Al-Shabab fighters entered from two directions and pushed out the local forces." It is unclear how many Juba forces were killed in the attack.
This strategy is very similar to the one that was showcased in the above video--attacking from two different directions. This also appears to be one of the groups largest, if not the largest attack since Ahmed Godane was killed. The island is very important to Shabaab, as they have used it in the past as a staging location for various illicit goods they use to fund their activities.