MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BNO NEWS) — European Union (EU) naval forces on Tuesday morning launched an air assault against Somali pirate bases, destroying pirate equipment on the Somali coastline. There were no reports of casualties.
The European Union Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) said the operation was conducted from the air with the support of the United Nations (UN) and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, which is the internationally recognized government of Somalia. No forces went ashore.
The multinational force said the “focused, precise and proportionate” action was aimed to disrupt known pirate supplies on the shore. “We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates’ efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows,” said EUNAVFOR Commander Rear Admiral Duncan Potts.
Potts emphasized to local residents and fishermen in the region that the military action is only targeting known pirate supplies. “The EU Naval Force action against pirate supplies on the shoreline is merely an extension of the disruption actions carried out against pirate ships at sea,” he said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the air assault, which is the first of its kind by EUNAVFOR. Somali pirates have attacked merchant ships up to 1,750 miles (2,816 kilometers) off the Somali coast in recent years, hijacking them and keeping its crews hostage until a ransom is paid.