Rep. Omar Complains Trump is Droning Jihadis ‘to Death’ in Somalia

Jihadists are dying in Somalia because America has intensified airstrikes and Rep. Ilhan Omar isn't happy at all about it, as she expressed during a House panel hearing on Thursday.

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.

Omar is obviously harkening back to the ‘winning the hearts and minds' pacifist war strategy, which has a long history of failure. While the military certainly aims to minimize the death of civilians, once jihadists are dead, they are dead, the objective has been accomplished and the locals will reap the benefits.

The controversial congresswoman is obviously speaking out against the increased number of airstrikes.

Breitbart News was unable to verify Omar’s assertion that the U.S. air campaign has led to an increase in terrorist attacks and recruitment.

Citing Pentagon data, the Long War Journal reported in March that U.S. airstrikes against al-Shabaab, not attacks by the group as Omar indicated, are “on pace to nearly triple last year’s record number of airstrikes” dropped on the group.

Michelle Lenihan, the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for African Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) who testified during the hearing, told Omar that drone strikes are just a “minor component” of America’s approach to bringing stability to Somalia.

In November 2018, the Mogadishu-based Hiraal Institute argued that the increase in U.S. airstrikes forced al-Shabaab to change its tactics and resulted in “fewer” attacks in Somalia.

At the time, the Institute did acknowledge that the terrorist group was adapting to the “increasingly lethal air campaign.”

Residents of the Somali capital of Mogadishu did experience a wave of deadly suicide and car bomb attacks at the hands of al-Shabaab in March.

Omar claimed that comments attributed to Trump by Democrat anonymous sources and rebuked by the president make it difficult for African countries to partner with the United States.

Omar proclaimed:

All of you talked about the partnership that needs to happen in order for us to have greater influence in Africa, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say that, as an African on this committee, when you have a president who uses language like ‘shit hole countries,’ it makes it really hard for people in Africa to sort of think of themselves as being partners with the United States, and so I hope that we are in the business of developing better relations.

Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia who entered the United States as a refugee.

Marking a significant departure from the previous administration, Trump has intensified the U.S. military’s air campaign against al-Shabaab, killing at least 200 jihadis this year alone.

Omar's comments come at 2:48:30

Source: Breitbart



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