US increases military support for Somalia against al-Shabab

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The United States is increasing its military assistance to Somalia as the country sees success in battling what the U.S. calls “the largest and most deadly al-Qaida network in the world.”

Sixty-one tons of weapons and ammunition arrived Tuesday in Mogadishu, the U.S. said in a statement of support for a historic Somalia-led military offensive against al-Shabab extremists that has recaptured dozens of communities since August.

In a separate joint statement with other leading security partners Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Britain, the U.S. said they will support Somalia’s efforts to manage weapons and ammunition that could allow the United Nations Security Council to lift its arms embargo on the country.

“A very productive meeting,” Somalia’s national security adviser, Hussein Sheikh-Ali, tweeted after the Washington gathering.