Somalian officials say that according to American intelligence reports, the planner if the 1998 African embassy bombings, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, was among those killed in the AC130 strikes that took place earlier this week. Airstrikes have continued, but the same Somalian officials say that American special forces will be needed to finish rooting out the remaining al Qaeda enclaves. They also say that they expect such American forces to be forthcoming.
American sources have not yet confirmed these reports. It has been widely rumored that special forces units are already participating in the fighting in Somalia.
I wouldn’t be surprised if President Bush talks about the fighting in Somalia, and perhaps the death of Fazul, in his speech on Iraq tonight.
UPDATE: Ralph Peters hails developments in Somalia, under the headline “Terrorizing Terrorists”:
the devastation left behind by our gunships is only part of a very big U.S. win:
* Thanks to resolute military action by Ethiopia’s government (quietly backed by Washington), the terror regime in Mogadishu crumbled overnight – collapsing the lie that extremist Islam is on the march to an inevitable victory.
* The speed of the Ethiopian advance cornered hundreds of hardcore Islamist fighters in a forlorn backwater, where they can be killed out of sight of their media defenders. And be killed they will.
* Islamist outrages and subversion inspired unprecedented cooperation between moderate Somalis, Ethiopians, Kenyans and Americans.
Peters views what’s happening today in Somalia as payback:
Our special-ops forces are getting their revenge: After Army Rangers and Delta Force troops won a hands-down victory in the streets of Mogadishu back in 1993, President Bill Clinton sold them out (as the Pelosi-Reid Democrats threaten to do to our soldiers in Iraq on a greater scale). Now they’re killing al Qaeda fanatics and their local allies with the full support of a new Somali government.
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