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Immediate Release

Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Dec. 2 Airstrike in Somalia

The Department of Defense confirms that Abdirahman Sandhere, also known as "Ukash," a senior leader of the al Qaeda-affiliated group al-Shabaab, is dead as a result of a U.S. military airstrike in Somalia undertaken on Dec. 2. Two other al Shabaab-affiliated associates were also killed in the strike that specifically targeted Abdirahman Sandhere.

Ukash's removal from the battlefield is a significant blow to al-Shabaab and reflects the painstaking work by our intelligence, military, and law enforcement professionals.

This is an important step forward in the fight against al-Shabaab, and the United States will continue to use the tools at our disposal -- financial, diplomatic, intelligence and military -- to dismantle al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups who threaten United States, interests and persons.

We will also continue to support our international partners, particularly the African Union Mission in Somalia, that are working to support the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia in building a secure and stable future for the Somali people.