Al Qaeda

Hotel attack in Somalia leaves more than 20 dead

Hotel in Kismayo, Somalia following a terror attack by Al-Shabab
The Medina hotel in Kismayo, Somalia July 13, a day after at least 26 people were killed and more than 50 injured in an attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

More than 25 people, including 2 Americans and at least 2 journalists, were killed in an attack on a hotel that began Friday night and lasted at least 14 hours in Kismayo, Somalia, reported BBC.

The big picture: The terror group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the strike that began when a suicide bomber who rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the gates of the Asasey Hotel. Four gunmen then stormed the building, the AP reports. Al-Shabab retreated from Kismayo in 2012, a "port [that] had been a major source of revenue for the group," says Al-Jazeera.

Expert Voices

U.S.–Iran standoff perpetuates flaws of decades-old policies

Mike Pompeo and John Bolton on stage behind Donald Trump, speaking at a lectern
President Trump at the July 2018 NATO summit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Current U.S. policy toward Iran has deepened the Middle East's Sunni-Shia divide — embodied in the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran — and risks repeating the failures of successive U.S. administrations.

Why it matters: American presidents have often tried to view the Middle East in overly black-and-white terms — from Reagan in Lebanon and Bush in Iraq to Obama’s dreams of Arab democracy. With this mindset still in play, the risks of economic harm and military escalation continue to mount.