According to a UN report obtained by Reuters, ISIS has increased from a dozen to some 200 foot soldiers this year in Somalia.

The report said: “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) faction loyal to Sheikh Abdulqader Mumin – estimated … in 2016 to number not more than a few dozen…, has growing significantly in strength, and [now] consists of as many as 200 fighters.

“Even a few hundred armed fighters could destabilise the whole region.

“It (air strikes) is a recognition from the U.S. that the situation in terms of the (Islamic State) faction in Puntland is becoming increasingly critical.”

The increase in strength of ISIS in Somalia has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for terrorists fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq.

Only last week the US executed counter-terrorism drone strikes against ISIS fighters in Somalia for the first time killing “several terrorist”, US Africa Command said.

Somalia’s main terrorist group is Al-Shabaab who are aligned with Al-Qaeda. No confrontation between the two terrorist groups in Somalia have taken place.