President Donald Trump has issued his first order for military operation in Africa.
According to a Pentagon official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the powers also will give greater autonomy in decision-making on air strikes to the head of US forces in Africa, General Thomas Waldhauser.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump approved a mission proposal from the Pentagon which will allow the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, to strike at any part of the country designated “area of active hostility.”
“The president has approved a Department of Defence proposal to provide additional precision fires in support” of the African Union Mission in Somalia and Somali security forces operations,” said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, in a statement.
“The additional support provided by this authority will help deny Al-Shabaab safe havens from which it could attack US citizens or US interests in the region,” Davis said.
The statement from the Pentagon did not indicate that the administration has given AFRICOM the authority to strike at will.
However, the approval for additional strikes against al-Shabaab came a day after the administration relaxed preventive rules against rampant civilian casualties.