US Forces in Somalia

Library image of an armed Reaper drone, December 2019 (US Air Force/ Senior Sergeant Haley Stevens)

Belligerent
US Forces
Country
Somalia
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Strike Status
Strike Type
Infrastructure

Incident Code

USSOM368

Incident date

January 25, 2023

Location

Almiskad mountains, Bari, Somalia

Airwars assessment

An ISIS leader and 10 of his associates were killed by a declared US counterterrorism operation in the Almiskad mountains of Bari region, Somalia on January 25, 2023. One US service member was injured during the operation when a dog bit him.

AFRICOM initially released a statement that “the U.S. military conducted a successful counterterrorism operation in Somalia.” The statement only included the assessment that no civilians were injured or killed, adding that “additional details will be provided in the coming days.”

The next day, the Department of Defense released a statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III that “On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation.”

During a Q&A with two senior administration officials, one official provided details that the operation took place in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia and resulted in the killing of 10 ISIS associates in addition to al-Sudani. According to the official, American forces were prepared to capture al-Sudani but “the hostile forces’ response to the operation resulted in his death”. The operation had been planned for months, including extensive rehearsals at sites “specifically built to recreate the terrain where the operation ultimately needed to take place” but mentioned that the Somalia government was “notified” of the operation, indicating that they were not involved and that they may not have been forewarned. Somali government security adviser Hussein Sheikh Ali stated that the death of al-Sudani was “very positive and welcoming,” adding that Islamic State was not as big a threat as al-Shabab in Somalia, but that al-Sudani was “dangerous”.

The same official reiterated that there were no injuries among civilians and that the only injury was to a US service member who was bit by their own canine. A reporter later pointed out that this senior official was the Homeland Security Advisor, questioning whether the operation target was a direct threat to the US homeland.

Another senior administration official described al-Sudani as supporting ISIS’s expansion and activities in Africa and beyond, including providing funding to ISIS around the world, specifically the ISIS Khorasan branch in Afghanistan. al-Sudani had been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2012 for his role in al-Shabaab before joining ISIS. Security researcher Dino Mahtani told BBC that al-Sudani was “an important figure in the attempt by this faction of Islamic State to build a trans-national network straddling Central Africa and East Africa and now with links down to Mozambique” and that his groups were also involved in weapon-smuggling. Analysts told BBC that the fact that US troops were sent rather than a less risky drone strike indicates the importance of al-Sudani.

All Africa News reported that “airstrikes” had taken place in the Almiskad mountains, which is an area where ISIS affiliates have training and hideout camps. This was likely reported prior to the US announcing their involvement. US officials declined to provide details on the service members that were involved in the raid. However, the New York Times reported that US Special Operations commandos carried out the operation, pointing out that the US troops stationed in Somalia were only there to provide training to Somali forces.

BBC pointed out that the raid came just a week after ISIS published a rare propaganda video from Somalia showing footage of clashing with Somali government forces in the mountainous radian in north-eastern Bari, the same area the raid took place.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation. We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM367

Incident date

January 23, 2023

Location

near Xaradheere (around Amara town or Beer Faarah Village), Mudug, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Between two and 47 alleged al-Shabaab militants were killed by declared US airstrikes or drone strikes near Xaradheere, Somalia approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu on January 23, 2023. There are no known reports of civilian casualties.

US AFRICOM released a statement that “at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 23, 2023. The strike occurred in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations. The initial assessment is the strike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists. Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed.”

Somaliland News quoted the federal government of Somalia who reported that at least 40 Alshabab members were killed in an airstrike at Beer Faarah Village, but did not specify “which partner has helped them with the airstrikes”. A tweet from @hormaar quoted General of Somalia’s Ground Forces, Gen. Mohamed Tahlil Bihi who said that operations in western Xaradheere resulted in the death of 47 al-Shabaab militants over a two day period.

Shabelle Media News reported that a second airstrike happened around Amara town to assist Somali National Army ground operations. The commander who told Shabelle about the second airstrike confirmed that there were casualties among al-Shabaab but could not determine how many yet.

According to Shabelle Media News, al-Shabaab ordered a local telecom company to turn off the phone network to prevent any more airstrikes from “foreign warplanes” (likely US).

AllAfrica News referred to the strike as being carried out by a “drone”, pointing out that the strike was part of the battle against al-Shabaab in Beer Faarah near Xaradheere, which was recently retaken by government forces.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–47

Sources (13) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 23, 2023.

The strike occurred in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations.

The initial assessment is the strike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists.


Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed.

The U.S. is one of several countries providing support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its ongoing campaign to disrupt, degrade and defeat terrorist groups. Rooting out extremism ultimately requires intervention beyond traditional military means, leveraging U.S. and partner efforts to support effective governance, promote stabilization and economic development, and resolve ongoing conflicts

U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners -- diplomacy, development and defense. This three-pronged, or “3D” approach aims to increase cooperation and support for “partner-led, U.S.-enabled” solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism. All kinetic operations conducted and supported by U.S. Africa Command are done in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.

Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command's operations to promote greater security for all Africans. To view the U.S. Africa Command Quarterly Civilian Casualty reports, visit: https://www.africom.mil/what-we-do/airstrikes/civilian-casualty-report

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–47

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM366

Incident date

January 20, 2023

Location

260 km northeast of Mogadishu near Galcad, Galguduud, Somalia

Airwars assessment

AFRICOM declared that they had carried out an airstrike or drone strike that killed between 30 and 100 alleged militants approximately 260 km northeast of Mogadishu near Galcad, Somalia on January 20, 2023. There are no known reports of civilian harm.

US AFRICOM announced that “at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 20, 2023. The strike occurred approximately 260 km northeast of Mogadishu near Galcad, Somalia where Somalia National Army forces were engaged in heavy fighting following a complex, extended, intense attack by more than 100 al-Shabaab fighters. The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defense strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty al-Shabaab terrorists killed. Given the remote location of the fighting, the command assesses that no civilians were injured or killed.”

Reuters pointed out that the strike occurred on the same day that al-Shabaab militants stormed a Somali military base in Galcad, killing seven soldiers and exploding car bombs, but their attack was eventually repelled. Garowe clarified the timeline, reporting that the airstrike came after the ambush of the army base.

Reuters quoted Somalia’s Information Ministry who stated that their soldiers killed 100 of the group’s fighters and destroyed five gun-mounted pick-up vehicles (known as technicals,” which may have been part of the same operation that the US assisted with airstrikes. Hiiraan Online News quoted al-Shabaab who stated that they had “miraculously overrun the U.S.-trained forces” and killed over 150 government-associated fighters. A US defense official told CNN that there was no US military present on the ground when the airstrike occurred.

The majority of sources referred only to the incident as a “strike,” while @charlie_savage tweeted that the strike was carried out by a drone.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    30–100

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of alleged al-Shabaab members killed during operations in Galcad on January 20, 2022. (Image posted by @SomaliaNews252)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of alleged al-Shabaab members killed during operations in Galcad on January 20, 2022. (Image posted by @SomaliaNews252)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

Somali, U.S. forces engage insurgents in support of the Federal Government of Somalia

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 20, 2023.

The strike occurred approximately 260 km northeast of Mogadishu near Galcad, Somalia where Somalia National Army forces were engaged in heavy fighting following a complex, extended, intense attack by more than 100 al-Shabaab fighters.

The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defense strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty al-Shabaab terrorists killed.

Given the remote location of the fighting, the command assesses that no civilians were injured or killed.

The U.S. is one of several countries providing support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its ongoing campaign to disrupt, degrade and defeat terrorist groups. Rooting out extremism ultimately requires intervention beyond traditional military means, leveraging U.S. and partner efforts to support effective governance, promote stabilization and economic development, and resolve ongoing conflicts.

U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners -- diplomacy, development and defense. This three-pronged, or “3D” approach aims to increase cooperation and support for “partner-led, U.S.-enabled” solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism. All kinetic operations conducted and supported by U.S. Africa Command are done in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.

Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command's operations to promote greater security for all Africans. To view the U.S. Africa Command Quarterly Civilian Casualty reports, visit: https://www.africom.mil/what-we-do/airstrikes/civilian-casualty-report

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    30–100

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM365

Incident date

January 9, 2023

Location

Hawadley, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Up to 61 al-Shabaab militants were killed and dozens of others were wounded by alleged US drone strikes/Somali army operations near Hawadlay on January 9, 2022.

Anadolu Agency reported that according to the Somali Information Ministry, at least 61 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed and dozens others were wounded by an operation carried out by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and “international partners.” Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf al-Adalla was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that 150 al-Shabaab forces were planning to bomb government forces in Hawadlay when Somali forces attacked.

@SONNALIVE added that 2 VBIEDs were also destroyed by Somali forces and international partners at farmland in Hawadlay village.

Horn Sentinel attributed the casualties to US drone strikes that struck a convoy of “two heavily loaded VBIEDs that detonated after the drone missiles hit.” According to Horn Sentinel, the US drone strikes killed 50 al-Shabaab fighters and destroyed their convoy of “heavy battle wagons” while pointing out that though the Somali government claimed that the NISA was involved, sources in the Galmudug government confirmed there was no NISA involvement.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Strike target
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    60–61
  • Belligerents reported injured
    12–24

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Location of Somali and international partner operations near Hawadley on January 9, 2023. (Image posted by Anadolu Agency)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Strike target
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    60–61
  • Belligerents reported injured
    12–24

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM364

Incident date

December 23, 2022

Location

Town of Awdal 248 km northeast of Mogadishu near Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Six alleged al-Shabaab members were killed by declared US airstrikes on the small town of Awdal 248 km northeast of Mogadishu near Cadale, Middle Shabelle, on December 23, 2022.

AFRICOM released a statement the same day that “At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a self-defense strike, Dec. 23, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab 248 km northeast of Mogadishu near Cadale, Somalia. The command’s initial assessment is the strike killed six al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed.”

Globe Echo News reported on the day before the strike, December 22nd, that the Middle Shabelle region had been completely liberated from al-Shabaab.

No other independent details were available from foreign or local media.

This incident was the third strike carried out and announced by AFRICOM in 10 days, and all of them occurred in the same area near Cadale.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a self-defense strike, Dec. 23, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab 248 km northeast of Mogadishu near Cadale, Somalia.


The command's initial assessment is the strike killed six al-Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command's operations to promote greater security for all Africans.

Al-Shabaab is the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world and has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians. U.S. kinetic actions against al-Shabaab in Somalia are conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's ongoing campaign to disrupt terrorist operations in their country.

Somalia remains key to the stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to defeat al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of these operations and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM363

Incident date

December 17, 2022

Location

220 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

US declared airstrikes near Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia on December 17, 2022 allegedly killed eight al-Shabaab militants, with no civilians killed or injured. Statements from the Somali government put casualty counts at 88 al-Shabaab militants killed in Middle Shabelle.

AFRICOM released a statement on December 18th that “At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia…The Dec. 17 strike took place approximately 220 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, also in the vicinity of Cadale. The command’s initial assessment is 8 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed. U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.”

@BCFinucane pointed out that the US Congress failed to include a provision in the military spending bill that would have restricted designation of partner force eligible for collective self defense strikes.

VOA News reported that the government also published images and videos of what they alleged were al-Shabaab fighters killed in the operation, in addition to announcing that an al-Shabaab commander identified as Yusuf Mohamed Jingab was among those killed in the operation.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia.

The Dec. 14 strike took place 176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale. The current assessment is 7 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

The Dec. 17 strike took place approximately 220 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, also in the vicinity of Cadale. The command’s initial assessment is 8 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.

U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote greater security for all Africans.

Al-Shabaab is the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world and has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians. U.S. kinetic actions against al-Shabaab in Somalia are conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's ongoing campaign to disrupt terrorist operations in their country.

Somalia remains key to the stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to defeat al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of these operations and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM362

Incident date

December 14, 2022

Location

176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

US declared airstrikes near Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia on December 14, 2022 allegedly killed seven al-Shabaab militants, with no civilians killed or injured. Statements from the Somali government put casualty counts at 88 al-Shabaab militants killed in Middle Shabelle.

AFRICOM released a statement on December 18th that “At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia. The Dec. 14 strike took place 176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale. The current assessment is 7 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed….U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.”

@BCFinucane pointed out that the US Congress failed to include a provision in the military spending bill that would have restricted designation of partner force eligible for collective self defense strikes.

A tweet from @dhoorebbc quoted Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister, who told state media that 88 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in Juhay village in Middle Shabelle region in an operation carried out by the Somali National Army with support of airstrikes from the US.

VOA News reported that the government also published images and videos of what they alleged were al-Shabaab fighters killed in the operation, in addition to announcing that an al-Shabaab commander identified as Yusuf Mohamed Jingab was among those killed in the operation.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia.

The Dec. 14 strike took place 176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale. The current assessment is 7 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

The Dec. 17 strike took place approximately 220 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, also in the vicinity of Cadale. The command’s initial assessment is 8 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.

U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote greater security for all Africans.

Al-Shabaab is the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world and has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians. U.S. kinetic actions against al-Shabaab in Somalia are conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's ongoing campaign to disrupt terrorist operations in their country.

Somalia remains key to the stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to defeat al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of these operations and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM361

Incident date

November 30, 2022

Location

village of Ali Foldhere, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Up to 40 members of al-Shabaab were killed and others were wounded by Somali forces and “international partner” airstrikes or ground operations near the village of Ali Foldhere on November 30, 2022.

Shabelle Media Network quoted the Somali government who announced that an operation carried out by the National Army, National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), and international partners in Ali Foldhere resulted in the death of up to 40 members of al-Shabaab and the wounding of others.

Garowe Online reported that the al-Shabaab militants were targeted while they were plotting their own attack in the town.

Reuters described the location of the operation as being in a forest near the village of Ali Foldhere under Mahaday town of Middle Shabelle region.

@BCFinucane pointed out that this was another operation with support from Somalia’s “international security partners” who were not specified. Garowe Online pointed out that similar military operations in the past involved US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS].

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    40
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Somali Military Forces
  • Somali Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    40
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]