US Forces in Somalia

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

Belligerent
Country
Somalia
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Confirmed
Fair
Belligerent Assessment
Strike Status
Strike Type

Incident Code

USSOM293-C

Incident date

March 10, 2020

Location

Near Janaale, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.80953, 44.69345 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Between four and six civilians were allegedly killed by a US airstrike near Janaale.

Morad News, affiliated with Al Shabaab, tweeted: “US drone strike kills 4 civilians after bombing a minibus near Janaale town. 2 of the victims r members of a well known family in Mogadishu. An elderly man & driver are among the victims. GRAPHIC photos from scene of the drone strike published.”

Halgan Media wrote: “Many civilians where killed today in a US drone strike in Somalia. The Americans are more than likely to claim responsibility for the strike within the next 48 hours and I’m more than certain the victims, in this case which are women and children will be labeled as Terrorists.”

AFRICOM officially declared the strike, saying the victims were members of Al Shabaab: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Janaale, Somalia, Mar. 10. The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed five (5) terrorists. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

On the allegations of civilian harm it added: “While we currently assess that this airstrike injured no civilians, we are aware of social media reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this strike. U.S. Africa Command complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage. As with any allegation of civilian casualties, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties, and take appropriate action based on the outcome of this review.”

According to Anadolu, “the U.S. African Command airstrike in the town of Janale in the lower Shabelle region killed at least six unarmed civilians who were traveling to the capital Mogadishu, Mahad Dhoore, a lawmaker from the Southwest state, told local media on Thursday.”

Al Jazeera added: “The victims were civilians travelling in a minibus heading to the capital Mogadishu, Abdullahi Abdirahman Ali, who lost his father in the air strike, said.
‘The Americans are lying. They killed my elderly father. He is 70 years old and can barely move. He can’t walk without the help of a walking stick. He is not al-Shabab,’ Abdullahi told Al Jazeera.

‘They killed these civilians because they know no one will take action against them,’ he added, anger palpable in his voice. One of the other victims was a 13-year-old boy, relatives said. Photos posted online show some of the bodies burned beyond recognition and the wreckage of a blood-soaked vehicle.

‘The minibus was going to Mogadishu. If the Americans suspected anything, they could have waited for them there. For them it is easier to kill civilians than to question them,’ Abdullahi added.”

The Intercept published a detailed investigation of the incident saying: “But Farhan Mahmoud Mohammed, a resident of Janaale who spoke to The Intercept by phone last Friday, told a different story.

Mohammed’s 13-year-old son Abdi Farhan Mahmoud was on his way to school when a U.S. missile struck a mini-bus taxi he was riding in. Mahmoud was decapitated in the strike, his father said. He could hardly bear to look at the boy’s charred face.

Another passenger in the minibus, 70-year-old Abdirahman Ali Waadhoor, was also killed in the attack, according to his son Abdullahi Abdirahman Ali. ‘My father is a disabled man. He never had a problem with anyone.’ said Ali, who lives in London and saw pictures of his father’s corpse on his phone. Asked how he felt when he saw the images, Ali replied: ‘That’s not my father. It’s only meat. Brown meat.'”

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (1 child4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • Radio report on the incident
  • Vehicle allegedly destroyed by a US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Vehicle allegedly destroyed by a US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Vehicle allegedly destroyed by a US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Vehicle allegedly destroyed by a US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of an alleged US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of an alleged US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of an alleged US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of an alleged US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Car supposedly destroyed by US strike near Janaale on March 10th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Janaale, for which, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The coordinates for Janaale are: 1.80953, 44.69345.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (1 child4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–5

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM282-C

Incident date

February 24, 2020

Location

جيليب, Near Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

The US declared on the same date an airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib – which it said had killed “one terrorist.” However local sources, some pro al Shabaab, said the victim was in fact Mohamud Haji Sirad, a director of the Hormud telecoms company for Middle Juba.

According to the Somali Guardian Mr Sirad was in his early 50s [or early 60s according to others]. It said Hormud had confirmed his death and had sent condolences to his family. A statement issued by the telecoms company insisted Mr Salad was a civilian with no connection with any militant organisation.

Morad News – a generally pro Shabaab site – reported via Twitter that “#US drone strike kills director of #Somalia’s @Hormuud telecommunications company in Middle Juba region, Mohamud Haji Sirad – Residents. Mohamud, who’s in his 50s, was inside his farm near #Jilib town during the drone strike according to witnesses.”

According to Morad, the following day “Hundreds of #Jilib residents gather for funeral and burial of Mahamud Haji Salad, a prominent businessman & director of #Somalia’s  @Hormuud telecom company in Middle Juba region, who was killed in a #US drone strike inside his farm near #Jilib town yesterday.”

Both Reuters and Voice of America cited Hormud officials as insisting that Mr Sirad was innocent: “Somalia’s biggest telecommunications company says one of its employees was killed a U.S. airstrike Monday near the al-Shabab-held town of Jilib, Middle Jubba region,” noted VOA.

“Spokesperson for the company Adnan Haji Ali said the head of the company’s office in Jilib was killed on his farm. The company identified the man as Mohamud Haji Salad, the Manager of Hormud telecommunications branch in Jilib town. ‘We confirm that this man was our employee,’ says Ali. ‘He had nothing to do with any group or organization.'”

Reuters noted: “‘Mr. Salad was highly respected among his colleagues and a valued member of the Hormuud team. He had a strong work ethic and he was known to be a good father to his children,’ Hormuud Chief Operating Officer Abdirashid Ali said in a statement.” The news agency also noted that Hormud employees and infrastructure had come under recent attack from US, Kenyan and al Shabaab  forces.

Garowe Online reported: “Hormuud Telecom said the slain manager, Mahamud Haji Sirad was a “diligent” worker who coordinated the company’s activity within Middle Juba, the company said. ‘We are appalled that such airstrikes are targeting civilians,’ the company said in a statement. ‘He was our director within Middle Juba and has no links with Al-Shabaab.’ Family sources said the slain director was leaving his farm when the drone dropped, killing him instantly and on the site. Meanwhile, Somali State media reported on Monday that the man killed in the American military operation was a ‘terrorist’.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mohamud Haji Sirad Adult male In his late 50s or early 60s killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • The funeral of Mahamud Haji Salad, reportedly killed by a US airstrike on Jilib, February 24th 2020 (via Morad News)
  • The funeral of Mahamud Haji Salad, reportedly killed by a US airstrike on Jilib, February 24th 2020 (via Morad News)
  • The funeral of Mahamud Haji Salad, reportedly killed by a US airstrike on Jilib, February 24th 2020 (via Morad News)
  • The funeral of Mahamud Haji Salad, reportedly killed by a US airstrike on Jilib, February 24th 2020 (via Morad News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a farm being struck in the vicinity of Jilib (جيليب) town, for which due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The coordinates for Jilib are: 0.494527, 42.777868

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 24.

“Our persistent actions against al-Shabaab ensures constant and continued pressure on this malign network,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of operations. “Our collective efforts help enhance security in the region and put al-Shabaab on notice, making both Somalia and the U.S. safer in the process.”

Al-Shabaab leadership has expressed its primary desire is to conduct attacks not just in East Africa, but against Americans and U.S. interests across the globe. Currently, our command assesses the al-Qaeda-aligned group lacks the capability to strike the U.S. homeland due to the persistent pressure placed on the group led by our African partners.

Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

As part of an international effort, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. interagency partners help support Somali-led efforts to counter and contain dangerous terrorist organizations from exporting violence more broadly.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM278-C

Incident date

February 17, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, including a child, were reportedly injured in a US airstrike on Jilib.

Somali Memo, a news site close to Al Shabaab, wrote: “Reports from Jilib district say that a drone crashed into a civilian residence yesterday, killing no one but injuring two civilians, including a minor. Residents said the missiles fired at the buildings destroyed them, and that an elderly man and a minor were injured.”

The Somali Guardian noted that “At least two civilians have been wounded in a US drone strike in Somalia’s Middle Juba region, AFRICOM has claimed responsibility. Reports from the town of Jilib in the Middle Juba region of Somalia say two civilians have been injured in an air bombardment carried out by unmanned drone. A young girl and an elderly man sustained injuries after missiles hit their home in the middle of a residential area, family members have confirmed to local Somali media outlets.”

AFRICOM itself confirmed conducting the strike but said no civilians were harmed: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 17. Initial assessments conclude one (1) al-Shabaab facility was destroyed as a result of this airstrike. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

SONNA said the strike took place inside the city of Jilib.

Other sources either referred to the AFRICOM, or to the Somali Memo report.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • AFRICOM press release
  • Ministry of Infromation press release
  • Approximate location in Somalia

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike on a compound within Jilib (جيليب) town, for which due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The coordinates for Jilib are: 0.494527, 42.777868

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 17.

“We’re working with our partners to adversely impact al-Shabaab’s operations and ability to attack our Somali and East African partners,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “It is important to counter this al-Qaeda-aligned group’s ability and intent to plan and carry out attacks in Somalia and more broadly. This precision strike does just that.”

Initial assessments conclude one (1) al-Shabaab facility was destroyed as a result of this airstrike.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

Somalia remains key to the security environment of East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing U.S. interests in the region. We will continue to work together on our support of the Federal Government of Somalia in its effort to bring improved governance, development and stability to the Somali people.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM274-C

Incident date

February 2, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

US Africa Command declared on the same day that it had conducted an airstrike “in the vicinity of Jilib” which it said had killed “one (1) terrorist.” However local reports said that one young woman was killed and two or three other women injured in the event in Jilib town.

According to AFRICOM’s press release, “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 2… Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

However the day after the attack, Somali reporter Mohamed Osman Ali tweeted: “Very sad to learn that an airstrike on Sunday evening killed my brother-in-law’s daughter, and injured two of his daughters and his mother who is also my aunt and my mother-in-law in Jilib town, 380 KM south of Mogadishu. surprised to those saying no civilian casualties!”.

Naming three victims on February 4th, Radio Morad said that one civilian woman had been killed and two others injured: “#AFRICOM claimed killing 1 #AlShabaab fighter & no civilians harmed. But locals reporting 3 civilian casualties, all women.”

According to the Somali Guardian, “Residents told Somali media outlets that a US drone carried out the strike on Monday night which fired several missiles to a residential area inside Jilib town. Several missiles hit a civilian home killing a 17 year old mentally ill girl, wounding her mother and younger sister who were then rushed to a hospital.”

According to the Defence Post, an AFRICOM official was informed by a relative of the civilian deaths prior to its announcement of no harm: “Abdi said his family was unable to obtain photo evidence of the incident because Shabaab does not allow smartphones in its territory, but confirmed the identity of his relatives in photos posted on Twitter, and provided The Defense Post with other family photos for comparison. Abdi is not sure who took the photos that were posted online, but the experienced journalist said it may have been members of al-Shabaab. He said it was possible the strike may have been targeting Shabaab militants outside the house because the group fully controls Jilib, about 110 km north of Kismayo in Somalia’s Middle Juba region.

“Abdi said he approached an American military officer from AFRICOM’s communications office during a conference in Mogadishu and detailed his story hours before the command released a statement assessing that no civilians were killed. ‘He only said sorry about your relatives,’ Abdi told The Defense Post. ‘He did not tell me anything further, or ask me. He said we try our best not to damage or hit civilian areas,’ he recalled. Ismael Mukhtar Omar, the Somalia Federal Government’s official spokesperson, corroborated Abdi’s account, saying he was present for the conversation with the AFRICOM officer.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Nurto Kusow 17 years old female killed
  • Fatima Kusow 15 years old female injured
  • Unnamed sister Child female injured
  • Khadija Mohamed 70 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Apparent missile fragment from a February 2nd 2020 strike on Jilib (via Radio Morad)
  • The body of 17 year old Nurto Kusow, reportedly killed in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad)
  • 15 year old Fatima Kusow, reportedly injured in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad)
  • 70 year old Khadija Mohamed, reportedly injured in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, for which the coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 2.
"Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda affiliate seeking to further its jihadist agenda," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "Removal of even one terrorist makes the region and the U.S. safer. Continuous pressure on the network is necessary to prevent al-Shabaab from building a safe haven and exporting violence."
Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM272-C

Incident date

January 27, 2020

Location

Homboy, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.397784, 42.870591 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

US Africa Command declared on the same day that it had conducted an airstrike on al Shabaab in the vicinity of Jilib, which it said had killed one militant. However it was later reported that a 20-year old farmer named Mohamed Moalim was killed in the strike, with the location given as Hoombooy.

According to the AFRICOM press release, “Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

State-run Sonna described the militant victim in its headline as a ‘senior al Shabaab operative’, though gave no further details.

Garowe News said the strike took place on Jilib itself, noting that “Jilib town remains one of the regions still under Al-Shabaab control in Middle Juba despite the group losing substantial control across the country.”

Two days after the attack, Somali Memo published details of what it said was a civilian harm event: “Relatives of a civilian killed in a US drone strike the day before in the Middle Jubba region provide further details about the shelling. On Monday, on 27 January 2020, an American-operated plane bombed 20-year-old Sidi Mohamed Moalim while working on his farm in the village of Hoombooy, about 18km away from Jilib district.

“Mohammed Moalim, the father of the victim, said his son was killed in a drone strike while planting a sesame field. Photos from the bombardment show the body of the man who was killed near some trees and found only a few parts of his body. The family of the man killed in the American bombing have strongly condemned the massacre of the Somali people by the United States.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Sidi Mohamed Moalim 20 years old male Farmer killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Scenes from the site at Hoomboy where farmer Sidi Mohamed Moalim allegedly died in a US strike on January 27th 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Homboy, for which the coordinates are: 0.397784, 42.870591

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Jan. 27.
“Airstrikes extend the reach and influence of government while creating conditions for development and a better future for Somalis,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Bradford Gering, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “Reducing the influence and plans of al-Shabaab benefits Somalis as well as the broader international community.”
Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM261-C

Incident date

December 29, 2019

Location

Vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia

Airwars assessment

In retaliatory strikes against al Al Shabaab for a mass casualty bombing in Mogadishu a day earlier, the United States said that it had conducted three strikes against al Shbaab commanders, killing four people in total.This entry relates to one of two strikes in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow in Lower Shabelle.

Al Shabaab itself reported that the strike in fact killed at least one civilian non combatant it named as local businessman Kusow Haji Mohammed Yusuf – with locals also reporting that a herd of 11 camels was slain in the attack.

According to an AFRICOM press release issued on the same day as the event, “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes in two (2) locations targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow and Caliyoow Barrow, Somalia, respectively, Dec. 29.”

“Initial assessment concluded two airstrikes killed two (2) terrorists and destroyed two (2) vehicles in Qunyo Barrow; and one airstrike killed two (2) terrorists in Caliyoow Barrow. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes. We comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations to ensure the safety of civilians.”

It added that “These precision airstrikes targeted al-Shabaab militants responsible for terrorist acts against innocent Somali citizens and coordinating with al-Qaeda.”

In what may be a separate or related incident, according to one local source, Somalia Terror Updates, two strikes took place “in the vicinity of Moqokori in Hiiraan region.” Since this is not in Lower Shabelle this would appear to be a different event.

The alleged al Shabaab suicide bombing on December 28th 2019 caused the largest single loss of civilian life of the year – with at least 81 people slain.

However there was later some doubt over whether al Shabaab was solely responsible, with VOA reporter Harun Maruf tweeting on December 30th that “Somalia’s intelligence agency says it has submitted a preliminary report indicating that a foreign country ‘planned’ Saturday’s bombing in Mogadishu. NISA didn’t publicly release the evidence pointing towards the involvement of a foreign country.”

Also on December 30th, reports emerged via al Shabaab that at least one adult civilian male had died in one of the Kunyo Barrow attacks, along with a herd of camels. According to Morad News, Horn News and others – which published images of the aftermath of the attack and the funeral of the victim – local businessman Kusow Haji Mohammed Yusuf was in fact killed when his 4-wheel drive was targeted. A nearby herd of 11 or 12 camels also died.

Horn News was alone in reporting that “several civilians” were killed – though offered no further details.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Kusow Haji Mohammed Yusuf Adult male Described by al Shabaab as a local businessman killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (25) [ collapse]

  • 'We submitted to the national authorities, an initial report indicating that the massacre of the Somali people in Mogadishu, 28 Dec-2019, was planned by a foreign country. In the ongoing investigation, we will work with some of the world's intelligence agencies.'
  • A camel reportedly slain in a US airstrike which al Shabaab insisted also killed a civilian businessman on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • A camel reportedly slain in a US airstrike which al Shabaab insisted also killed a civilian businessman on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • A camel herder describes the death of his herd, reportedly slain in a US airstrike which al Shabaab insisted also killed a civilian businessman on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • A munition fragment - most likely from a Hellfire missile indicating a drone strike - at the scene of a US action which al Shabaab insisted also killed a civilian businessman on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • The body of Kusow Haji Mohammed Yusuf, reportedly a civilian killed in a US strike near Kunyo barrow on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • The burial of Kusow Haji Mohammed Yusuf, reportedly a civilian killed in a US strike near Kunyo Barrow on December 29th 2019 (via Morad News)
  • ADN TV
  • Aftermath of a US strike near Kunyo Barrow on December 29th 2019 which reportedly killed a civilian
  • Aftermath of a US strike near Kunyo Barrow on December 29th 2019 which reportedly killed a civilian
  • Aftermath of a US strike near Kunyo Barrow on December 29th 2019 which reportedly killed a civilian
  • Aftermath of a US strike near Kunyo Barrow on December 29th 2019 which reportedly killed a civilian (via Morad News)

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM257-C

Incident date

November 19, 2019

Location

حرمك, Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.7928186, 43.3841839 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The US military reported on the same day that it had carried out an airstrike near Qunyo Barrow that killed one “terrorist.” However al Shabaab insisted the victim was a local civilian businessman named Ismail Issa Bhutan.

According to a press release issued on November 19th by US Africa Command, “At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. Strikes near Qunyo Barrow disrupt al-Shabaab’s freedom of maneuver and ability to organize. The individual targeted had direct ties to the al-Qaeda terror organization”

AFRICOM added that it currently assessed that no civilians had been harmed in the attack.

According to Associuated Press the drone strike took place outside Kunyo Barrow, and targeted a senior al Shabaab official: “A Somali intelligence official says a U.S. drone strike has killed a senior officer with the al-Shabab extremist group. The official says the unidentified officer had maintained links with foreign extremist groups with the aim of coordinating future attacks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Residents said the officer’s vehicle was struck Tuesday outside the al-Shabab-held town of Kunya Barow in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region.”

However, as NBC News analyst Evan Kohlmann tweeted: “Shabaab al-Mujahideen insists that the individual killed in a US military airstrike yesterday in Somalia was actually a local civilian merchant named Ismail Issa Bhutan, who was hit by 2 missiles in short succession after his mobile phone began to ring.”

According to Somalia News 24/7, “Witnesses say that a man who was a businessman and had a shop in the town was killed in the attack.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Name unknown Age unknown male

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • CBA TV video

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Kunya Barrow (حرمك), for which the coordinates are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Nov. 19.
“Armed over-watch and the progression of Somali forces are preventing individuals and larger groups of al-Shabaab fighters from doing future harm to innocent Somalis and becoming a potential threat to the United States,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “Ongoing Somali efforts and persistent pressure on the network help create the necessary conditions to extend the reach of Somali security forces and governance.”
At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. Strikes near Qunyo Barrow disrupt al-Shabaab’s freedom of maneuver and ability to organize. The individual targeted had direct ties to the al-Qaeda terror organization.
Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM251-C

Incident date

October 25, 2019

Location

Near Ameyra and Timirshe, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

10.66599, 50.53527 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A US drone strike intended to target an Islamic State hideout near the remote Ameyra and Timirshe villages in the Golis Mountain region, killed two civilians and injured another, according to various local and international media.

Multiple local tribal elders told Voice of America that the civilian men were out collecting frankincense.

One local elder from Timishe village near the target of the strikes, Sa’id Abshir Mohamud, said “men sent to the location of the strike brought back the dead bodies of two locally known villagers who went there to collect frankincense.” He also identified the two fatalities, claiming that one of them was mutilated.

“’The three of us went there to collect frankincense days ago. A missile surprisingly targeted where we were, killing the two other men. I ran through a dark smoke and the debris of the mountain rocks and crawled under a nearby mountain cave, then another missile was targeted at my location but the cave and Allah saved me. In the cave, I found out that I had sustained shrapnel injuries and remained there until midnight Friday. I am bleeding and I feel kidney pain,’ Mohamed Mohamud Barre said to VOA, claiming to be the survivor of the strike.”

While VOA couldn’t verify Barre’s claims, a “revered local traditional elder” backed them up, “He took his pregnant wife to Bosaso for medical care but he could not afford to pay the bills. He decided to go the mountains and collect frankincense to sell and then pay the surgery bills for his wife, who is carrying twin babies, one of them dead.”

The same local elder also went on to say that one of the men killed left behind eight orphans, and the other five.

Garowe Online, which reported when the men were still missing, presumed dead – said that according to residents, four missiles were fired by the US drone. Garowe also gave the location of the strike as the “vicinity of Cameyra area near #Timirshe village”.

“We first heard the noise of aircrafts flying low over the mountainous area, then four heavy strikes occurred within the range of about 15 minutes. Then, plumes of black smoke coming from the mountains followed,” one witness told VOA in their initial reporting of the incident.

US Africa Command confirmed a strike in the Golis Mountains region on this day, that they say killed three ISIS terrorists, having assessed that the event caused no civilian harm.

Senior Somali intelligence officials also told AP that the strike “killed three senior officers with Islamic State group-affiliated fighters,” as it targeted their vehicle. One was said to have been a notorious bomb expert. Radio Kulmiye, citing Somali military sources, said the victims were thought to be ISIS ‘officials.’

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a hideout in a mountainous area near the remote villages of Ameyra/Cameyra and Timirshe, on the outskirts of Iskushuban district, 150 kilometers south of the city Bosaso in the Puntland region. Some sources report that it took place in the Golis mountains. According to sources Ameyra must be near the village Timirshe (10.56245, 50.42396), which is indeed around 150 kilometers southeast of Bossaso. The name Ameyra/Cameyra likely refers to a nearby settlement called Xamure/Hamure, for which the coordinates are: 10.66599, 50.53527. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The village Timirshe and Xamure near the town Iskushuban

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

U.S. airstrike targets ISIS-Somalia in support of the Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS terrorists in the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on October 25, 2019.

By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyOct 25, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS terrorists in the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on October 25, 2019.

The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist activity. Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorists and support long-term security in the region.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed three (3) terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (7) [ collapse]