Somalia: UK weighs up air strikes against rebels
Fears over piracy and al-Shabaab insurgents lead Britain and other EU countries to consider air strikes on logistical hubs
Mounting concern about the twin threats posed by pirates and Islamic insurgents operating in Somalia has led Britain and other EU nations to consider the feasibility of air strikes against their logistical hubs and training camps, the Guardian has been told.
The issue has been rising up the agenda of David Cameron’s National Security Council in recent months, reflecting anxiety in the west about piracy, but also the ambitions of some leaders within al-Shabaab, the clan-based movement that is fighting against Somalia’s western-backed transitional government.
Though the “war games” remain on the drawing board for now, the disclosure that they have been under serious scrutiny shows the depth of unease about the situation within the British government, which is hosting an international conference on Somalia in London starting on Thursday.
According to sources, the international coalition that has been spearheading the fight against the pirates drew up contingency plans in the summer of 2010, and again last year, for what was termed “over the beach” air strikes against Somali camps.
The UK has also considered plans for attacking targets in places where al-Shabaab and the pirates appear to co-exist, particularly in southern Somalia.
read more at www.guardian.co.uk
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