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
Airwars Grading
Discounted
Belligerent Assessment
Strike Status
Strike Type

Incident Code

USSOM320

Incident date

October 6, 2020

Location

Weelshit, Gedo, Somalia

Geolocation

3.11895, 46.39165 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

An unidentified airstrike allegedly killed ten or eleven Al Shabaab members in Weelshit.

Strategic Intelligence wrote: “Unidentified aerial strike at 1145pm on 06.10.2020 killed 10 Terrorist who are members of the Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab al Mujahideen alongside their operations commander.”

It added: “The blitz in Weelshit, Gedo targeted Shabaab al Mujahideen terrorists temporary surveillance and reconnaissance output approximately 10 km north of Daresalam village which lies 20 km South East of Konton where Kenya Army AMISOM contingent has an FOB. The terrorist organization had set up the outpost to mirror and subsequently threaten the Forward Operating Base.

Among those killed in the airstrike include Shabaab’s chief Zakat collector in Gedo Maalim Yussuf mohamud Digale.”

In the headline of the news piece it says that 11 people were killed.

The incident occured at 11:45 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10–11

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Weelshit, allegedly 10km north of Daresalam. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Daresalam are: 3.11895, 46.39165.

  • Reports of the incident mention the village of Weelshit, allegedly 10km north of Daresalam.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10–11

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM312-C

Incident date

July 29, 2020

Location

جيليب, 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

The US military reported on the same day that it had conducted an airstrike against al Shabaab fighters in the town of Jilib. However it was locally claimed that the attack had killed three young children, whose bodies were shown on social media.

In a press release published on the evening of the attack, AFRICOM noted: “The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and wounded one (1) terrorist. An al-Shabaab compound was destroyed in the airstrike.”

The release also noted that “U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this airstrike. At this time, U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

However al Shabaab released images which it said were taken at the scene of the US strike, showing the bodies of three young boys and a destroyed structure. Morad news named the dead as Abukar Ahmad, 8 years old; Abdisamad Hussain, aged 12; and Abdullahi Mohamad, aged 13.

AllBalcad said: “The bombing, which took place at around 2pm, featured pro-al-Shabaab media showing the bodies of three children and the destruction of a house. The children were said to be between the ages of 8 and 13 and Alshabab did not say who else was injured in the bombing.”

Mareeg reported: “But the strike has killed at least 3 children under the age of 13, and destroyed their wooden house in the town.

The children were playing outside their home when they were struck by a heavy metal fragment from the munition and then, all died on scene, a witness, who asked to be anonymous said.”

Halgan Media and other sources said it was a drone strike.

In it fourth quarter civilian casualty assessment AFRIOM said: “After review, the reports were assessed as unsubstantiated. Contrary to the reports stating the airstrike targeted a residence killing three children, the airstrike was executed on July 29, 2020 against two al-Shabaab members on a known al-Shabaab compound used as a senior al-Shabaab leadership meeting place. U.S. intelligence confirmed that the compound was only accessible to al-Shabaab members, and the casualties of the strike were al-Shabaab members. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. One source also used one photo that was previously published in 2015.”

Airwars found that one picture used by Goobjoog had indeed been used before.

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 pm local time.

  • Abukar Ahmad 8 years old male killed
  • Abdisamad Hussain 12 years old male killed
  • Abdullahi Mohamad 13 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • 'The United States says a bombing in Jilib has killed a number of al-Shabab members, wounded others and destroyed a military base. Al Shabaab has denied the allegations, saying three children were killed in the shelling. Expect their names.'
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Hon Siciid Ibnu dhakhtar)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868. Due to limited satellite imagery and information 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
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Nov 6, 2020
  • July 29, 2020 (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received three (3) reports from online media sources and a social media account claiming up to three (3) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on July 29, 2020. After review, the reports were assessed as unsubstantiated. Contrary to the reports stating the airstrike targeted a residence killing three children, the airstrike was executed on July 29, 2020 against two al-Shabaab members on a known al-Shabaab compound used as a senior al-Shabaab leadership meeting place. U.S. intelligence confirmed that the compound was only accessible to al-Shabaab members, and the casualties of the strike were al-Shabaab members. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. One source also used one photo that was previously published in 2015.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, July 29.

“U.S. Africa Command continues to assist the Federal Government of Somalia in disrupting al-Shabaab plans for destruction,” said U.S. Air Force Col Chris Karns, director of public affairs, AFRICOM. “We remain committed to supporting our partners in our mutual fight against violent extremism.”

The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and wounded one (1) terrorist. An al-Shabaab compound was destroyed in the airstrike.

U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this airstrike. At this time, U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command reviews reasonably available information it has about the incident. U.S. Africa Command complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions to minimize risk to civilians.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use a range of effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people. Together with partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development while preventing al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach and further export violence.

U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM309-C

Incident date

May 17, 2020

Location

حرمك, Near Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Six civilians were allegedly injured after a US airstrike near Kunya Barrow.

Somali Memo, a news outlet close to Al Shabaab, said: “Last night, Drone planes bombed a civilian residence in the town of Kunya Barrow.

Sources say several missiles hit the home and injure four civilians, including a mother and three children. The injured are recovering in a local hospital.”

Later Somali Memo updated the number to six.

Morad News tweeted: “BREAKING: Suspected #US drone strike reported in #AlShabaab-controlled town of Kunya-Barrow overnight. Several people injured including women and children – Witnesses. #Somalia”

AFRICOM stated in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, May 17.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed two (2) terrorists.

U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

In its civilian casualty assessment third quarter report AFRICOM said the incident was currently under review.

In the following civilian casualty report AFRICOM stated: “After review, the reports were assessed as unsubstantiated. Contrary to the reports stating the airstrike targeted a mother and her children in their home, the airstrike conducted on May 17, 2020 targeted two al-Shabaab members in a known al-Shabaab compound utilized by the group to plan attacks in Mogadishu. No civilians were observed in the area or interacting with the al-Shabaab compound. U.S. intelligence confirmed that the only casualties of the strike were al-Shabaab members, and it is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. Additionally, the initial source of the reports is known to be sympathetic to al-Shabaab. Further, forensic analysis indicates that at least some of the photographs had been deliberately manipulated.”

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (20) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Building allegedly damaged by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Injury allegedly sustained from US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

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

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Nov 6, 2020
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • May 18, 2020, USAFRICOM received five allegations from an online media source and social media accounts claiming either five (5) or six (6) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on May 17, 2020.

  • May 18, 2020 (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received five (5) reports from an online media source and social media accounts claiming either four (4) or up to six (6) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on May 17, 2020. After review, the reports were assessed as unsubstantiated. Contrary to the reports stating the airstrike targeted a mother and her children in their home, the airstrike conducted on May 17, 2020 targeted two al-Shabaab members in a known al-Shabaab compound utilized by the group to plan attacks in Mogadishu. No civilians were observed in the area or interacting with the al-Shabaab compound. U.S. intelligence confirmed that the only casualties of the strike were al-Shabaab members, and it is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. Additionally, the initial source of the reports is known to be sympathetic to al-Shabaab. Further, forensic analysis indicates that at least some of the photographs had been deliberately manipulated.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, May 17.
“The U.S. support to our Somali partners is and will remain strong,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command.
The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed two (2) terrorists.
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
“U.S. Africa Command affords our partners over-watch and added precision capabilities,” said Col. Christopher Karns, director of public affairs, U.S. Africa Command. “This enemy has no regard for the lives of innocent Somalis and the group presents a threat to the Somali people, the U.S., and interests abroad.”
U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use a range of 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. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development while preventing al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach and further export violence.
U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (11) [ 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. It was later claimed that a 20-year old farmer named Mohamed Moalim was killed in the strike, with the location given as Hoombooy – although in April 2020 AFRICOM insisted the victim was “an al-Shabaab operative associated with the al-Shabaab command and control network.”

According to the immediate 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, a pro al Shabaab site, published claims 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.”

In April 2020, in its first quarterly civilian harm report, AFRICOM explicitly rejected claims of a non combatant casualty: “After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On January 27, 2020 an airstrike was executed targeting an al-Shabaab operative associated with the al-Shabaab command and control network. U.S. intelligence sources confirmed the role of the targeted individual. Strike video confirmed that the targeted individual was the only casualty of the strike. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

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
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (12) [ 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
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • January 28, 2020, AFRICOM received three allegations from an online media source and social media accounts claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on January 27, 20 After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On January 27, 2020 an airstrike was executed targeting an al-Shabaab operative associated with the al-Shabaab command and control network. U.S. intelligence sources confirmed the role of the targeted individual. Strike video confirmed that the targeted individual was the only casualty of the strike. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.

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
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM261-C

Incident date

December 29, 2019

Location

Vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia

Airwars assessment

In retaliatory actions 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 claimed 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. However in April 2020 AFRICOM refuted this, insisting that “It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

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.

In April 2020, AFRICOM explicitly denied causing civilian harm in this event: “After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On December 29, 2019 two airstrikes were executed against two individuals (one individual per strike) which U.S. intelligence confirmed were affiliated with al-Shabaab. Intelligence identified the individuals’ affiliation with the organization which was further corroborated during post-strike assessment. Strike video confirmed that the effects were limited to the two individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

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
    0 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (14) [ 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
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • December 30, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on December 29, 2019. AFRICOM received a duplicate allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On December 29, 2019 two airstrikes were executed against two individuals (one individual per strike) which U.S. intelligence confirmed were affiliated with al-Shabaab. Intelligence identified the individuals’ affiliation with the organization which was further corroborated during post-strike assessment. Strike video confirmed that the effects were limited to the two individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (14) [ 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. AFRICOM later insisted the target “was both an al-Shabaab leader and weapons supplier.”

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 Associated 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.”

In April 2020, in its first quarterly civilian harm report, AFRICOM explicitly denied harming a civilian in the attack: “After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On November 19, 2019 a kinetic strike was executed against one individual which U.S. intelligence confirmed was both an al-Shabaab leader and weapons supplier. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the one individual. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

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
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ 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
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • November 19, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on November 19, 2019. AFRICOM received a duplicate allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On November 19, 2019 a kinetic strike was executed against one individual which U.S. intelligence confirmed was both an al-Shabaab leader and weapons supplier. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the one individual. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.

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
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM250a-C

Incident date

October 3, 2019

Location

Abaloni, in the vicinity of Hosingow, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.174064, 41.269959 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were allegedly killed by a US or Kenyan airstrike on Abaloni. AFRICOM later denied conducting a strike in the area.

Hussein Eliyow tweeted: “SOMALIA: Reports of US /Kenya airstrike in Abaloni village, outside Hosingow town last night. Residents say the airstrike killed at least two nomads. More details to follow.”

AFRICOM discounted the incident in its first quarterly civilian casualty report: “October 3, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed and one (1) injured as a result of an airstrike in the vicinity of Lower Jubba, Somalia. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or at the location.”

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Abaloni, allegedly in the vicinity of Hosingow (هوسئنجو), close to the Kenyan border. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Hosingow are: -0.174064, 41.269959.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • October 3, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed and one (1) injured as a result of an airstrike in the vicinity of Lower Jubba, Somalia. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or at the location.

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM237b-C

Incident date

July 19, 2019

Location

Shanta Baraako, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.225, 45.21292 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two civilian were reported killed by US ground troops near Shanta Baraako in an apparent distortion of an In These Times investigation. AFRICOM later discounted the allegation.

The In These Times report alleged that Waliyo Cali Qaasim and Abdikadir Ali were killed by Danab special forces in a counter-terrorism operation.

In a post in the Nairaland forum, the report was rewritten alleging the two were killed by “AFRICOM soldiers”.

AFRICOM responded to the allegation in its first quarterly civilian casualty report: “December 30, 2019, AFRICOM received an allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Shanta Baraako, Somalia, on July 12, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.”

In a further clarification to Airwars, AFRICOM officials responded on May 6th 2020:

“1) Were US ground forces present as alleged?

USAFRICOM forces were not in the vicinity of where the alleged civilian harm occurred.

2) Did US ground forces engage in kinetic actions?

USAFRICOM did not execute a kinetic strike on the alleged date.

3) Are any US kinetic ground actions believed to have contributed to civilian harm?

USAFRICOM ground forces did not contribute to the alleged civilian harm.”

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Shanta Baraako, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.225, 45.21292. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • May 6, 2020
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • December 30, 2019, AFRICOM received an allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Shanta Baraako, Somalia, on July 12, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.

  • 1) Were US ground forces present as alleged? USAFRICOM forces were not in the vicinity of where the alleged civilian harm occurred. 2) Did US ground forces engage in kinetic actions? USAFRICOM did not execute a kinetic strike on the alleged date. 3) Are any US kinetic ground actions believed to have contributed to civilian harm? USAFRICOM ground forces did not contribute to the alleged civilian harm.

Somalia Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]