European Union forces attack pirate targets on Somali shore
An armed pirate keeps watch along the coastline at Hobyo town, northeastern Somalia, in 2010.
May 15th, 2012
07:01 AM ET

European Union forces attack pirate targets on Somali shore

European Union naval forces on Tuesday struck Somali pirate targets on the coast of the country in the first raids by the European force on the Somali mainland.

“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," Rear Adm. Duncan Potts, operational commander of the force, said in a statement.

Several pirate attack skiffs, the small boats pirates use to attack merchant vessels in the open ocean, were destroyed in the raid, said Timo Lange, media officer at the naval force's headquarters in England.

No Somalis were injured in the raid, which was conducted entirely by air, the force's statement said.

"The local Somali people and fishermen – many of whom have suffered so much because of piracy in the region, can be reassured that our focus was on known pirate supplies and will remain so in the future," Potts said in the statement.

On March 23, the Council of the European Union said the naval force would be permitted to attack pirate installations on shore.

The force currently has nine warships and five maritime patrol aircraft operating off Somalia under Operation ATALANTA, which began in December 2008.

In April, the International Maritime Bureau reported that pirate attacks off Somalia had decreased dramatically during the first quarter of the year as compared to a year earlier.

Post by:
Filed under: Pirates • Somalia
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Bran Flakes

    The pirates are getting a taste of "command presence". Lesson # 1: Don't try to put a machine gun up against an F-16 or a guided missile frigate.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brandon Doyle

    How ridiculous you are all are, people are tlaking about GW and election nonsense but nobody is talking about the fact that the EU has formed a military?? they already integrated economically and politically all that was left was military so I guess we have a new nation on our hands people..

    May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • OutPastPluto

      Sounds a lot like NATO. Your panic seems to be about 50 years too late.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Um, really? You should consider reading about things before commenting, so you don't sound so... you know, stupid.

      May 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      No worries there lol EU currency is at its lowest they spend the least on defense spending and rely heavily on the US to be the backbone of NATO. Countries are poised to exit the EU. No our greatest threat is a Russian, Indian, Chinese alliance. An Alliance that could cause more countries to turn away from our western interests. India will outnumber us in Generation 5 fighters. China has a philosophy of defending itself from a carrier strike group with Nuclear means. Which our only response would be a land based attack with nuclear arms.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBudPirate

      Har and ye be parot-noid!

      May 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      And? This was the point from the beginning. Unfortunately, the EU is unstable, and will continue to be so...therefore your comment is mostly invalid.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jericho

      Why is everyone so worried about an EU military. Joint forces to combat pirates is a good thing. US citizens are always the most paranoid of people because they are the least traveled.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rainman

    And the people of Somalia will hate us. This is because the pirates spend lots of money in the local economy. I just hope we don't get bogged down in a long drawn out military conflict here.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • me again

      what do you mean "will" hate us?

      May 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mpaa

    Are these the same pirates that the MPAA and the recording studios was warning us about? Copyright infringement doesn't pay anymore I guess.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Really

    I hate to be a broken record here, but spell check only takes care of part of the problem. Someone should really look at these before they are posted. Horrible. Sorry CNN, but you should be better than that!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Are You Kidding?

    The EU forces are a coalition force made up of member nations. The fact hat they got together and did this is interesting. Because the EU is unstable and going to through rough changes id it is going to work....

    May 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mister Jones

      Why is that a problem? It is about time that there is another competent military force on the board other than ours. Ideally, the AU will some day field an effective unit as well, and then we won't have to police the entire globe. Just most of it.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EVN

    I'm glad that there is some sort of a miltiary force out there responding to the pirates, but destroying some skiffs counts as newsworthy?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe in Pittsburgh

    Maybe I've been living in this city too long, but when I read the headline, I thought "What possible comeuppance could our lackluster baseball organization receive now?"

    May 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kerry

    I for one am happy to see the Eu take action. Better than the U.S. looking like the aggressor. Share the wealth, let others take the glory as well.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Al

    Finally something good to read about the EU.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. guest

    The EU has a Navy? I thought they wer just some superbank like citibank (which is doing wonderfully in this economey)

    May 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 1amazed1

    It is about time. Get them where it hurts most. Also if a somalian "pirate" boat or ship is detected out in open waters sink the ship and let them swim back to shore. That should make them think a second time before going out.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lee

    Good job military, it's a step in the right direction making them fools think twice about taking a ship hostage.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vumba4

    I wonder who was the brains behind this operation? They don't have drones, planes are so 20th century!

    May 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WillyWalnuts

    When China's population runs out of resources, her neighbor, Russia, will be invaded for her vast riches (12 time zones ??). None of the rest of this will matter.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9