AFRICA: EU Air Strike on Somali Pirate Lair
First Land Attack
The European Union naval force patrolling for pirates off the Horn of Africa has launched its first strike against a pirate lair on shore. A pirate tells the Associated Press that the helicopter gunship raid on the Mudug region of Somalia’s central coast destroyed speed boats, fuel depots and an arms store.
Somali pirates have extended their raids out into the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden in recent years. The BBC reports they are believed to be holding 17 ships and 300 crew members for ransom. No Europeans or Somalis were killed in the night time raid, which also included fixed wing aircraft.
Since December 2008, EU members have mounted an international naval patrol, Operation Atalanta, off the Horn of Africa. The patrol monitors an area extending from South of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Somali Basin and part of the Indian Ocean –including the Seychelles. It is an area in size comparable to the Mediterranean Sea, according to a 2010 report to the British House of Lords.
Entry filed under: Africa, Homeland Security, International Crime, Naval Warfare, Special Operations. Tags: Africa, European Union, International Crime, maritime domain awareness, military aviation, Operation Atalanta, Somalia.