Al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab claims attack on US base in Kenya

 Camp Simba, Kenya
Posted at 10:53 PM, Jan 04, 2020

(CNN)Al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for an attack on a US base in Kenya on Sunday morning local time.

The base -- known as Camp Simba -- is located in Lamu county, near Kenya's border with Somalia.

Al-Shabaab said the base was used by both American and Kenyan military personnel, and that US military equipment was "destroyed," according to a statement released by the terror group Sunday.

Al-Shabaab provided no evidence to support the claims. It wasn't immediately clear if there were any casualties.

CNN has reached out to the State Department and the Pentagon for comment.

The Somali government, in coordination with US Africa Command, has conducted several retaliatory airstrikes on al-Shabaab targets in recent weeks.

US troops began operations at the base in 2017, performing counter-terrorism and border security operations to aid Kenya, according to a US Air Force press release.

It essentially became a permanent US military installation on August 26, 2019, when the American flag was raised over the facility in what the Air Force said signified its "change from tactical to enduring operations."

"The flag flying here today over Camp Simba symbolizes the permanency of our mission and our dedication to our partners," Lt. Col. Cody Smith, commander of the 475th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, said in August.

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