A spectacular photo of a female Somalia National Army soldier uprooting a flag associated with Al-Shabaab militants has made rounds in social media, making it to Voice of America news headlines.
On Wednesday, Somalia National Army, buoyed by Kenya Defense Forces, overpowered Al-Shabaab militants in Barire town, forcing them to flee. Capturing of the town located in South Shebelle, in the border of Gedo region, has been hailed as one of the most successful operation in recent years.
With armoured vehicles, the soldiers makes strides to the town, forcing Al-Shabaab militants to evacuate. A female soldier then walks to the flag before uprooting it. She's said to be one of elite forces trained in Britain.
"Stunning photos from Barire town where Somali govt forces seized from Al-Shabaab on Wednesday. In one of photos, a female soldier with Danab special forces takes down Al-Shabaab flag near Barire in Lower Shabelle. Barire is where US navy SEAL was killed exactly 2 years ago by AS," VOA Journalist Harun Maruf tweeted.
Ordinarily, Islamic religion does not allow woman to participate in many activities among them wars. Recruitment of women to SNA is an achievement in the Horn of Africa nation. In Kenya, women were recruited as Women Service Cops and were not allowed to marry. However, General Daudi Tonje abolished the rules in 1997.
Chief of Defense Forces General Dahir Elmi lauded the soldiers after taking over Barire, adding that it's a major blow to the Al-Shabaab militants. The two was strategic for the militants and sometimes back, they used it to ambush US soldiers.
"Somali Govt says the capture of Barire town on Wednesday is a “big blow” to Al-Shabaab. Military officials told @voasomali that troops had to clear explosives from the outskirts of the town before entering it," Maruf posted the statement by SNA.
KDF has intensified operations in Gedo and Lower Shebelle regions in pursuit of abducted Cuban doctors. Until now, the elite Rangers Strike Regiment is yet to get hold of militants who kidnapped the two medics from Mandera town a couple of weeks ago.