James Fergusson, a journalist, the author of “The World’s Most Dangerous Place — Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia”, said on Radio 4 yesterday that whole villages in the areas attacked are going over to Al Shabab or Al Qaeda after drone strikes causing civilian deaths:
He was asked to comment on US special forces’ seaborne operation in Somalia’s coastal town of Barawe on Saturday. Unnamed US officials said that the Seals failed to find the intended target, who was not identified. One added that in Barawe the commandos had decided to abort the mission after encountering fierce resistance from al-Shabab fighters. Al-Shabab told the BBC that “white soldiers” had arrived by boat in Barawe and rebels had repulsed them, losing a fighter.
James Fergusson’s conclusion: “The blowback to the drone program is actually quite severe, if you look at Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq for examples. Probably worsening the US’ objectives there and prolonging the conflicts”.