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
Discounted
Belligerent Assessment
Strike Status
Strike Type

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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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]

Incident Code

USSOM237a-C

Incident date

July 11, 2019

Location

جيليب, Jilib, 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

Al Shabaab members or civilians were allegedly killed in US strikes near Jilib and Basra. AFRICOM later denied conducting strikes in the area.

Harun Maruf reported: “Overnight airstrikes killed dozens of Al-Shabaab militants in Jilib, Cmdr of AS’s Hisba police station in the town, Hassan Dhere, his deputy and a 3rd official among the dead, per sources. Most casualties occurred at a militia camp and at an explosives training facility.”

Jeff Seldin tweeted afterwards that AFRICOM “says it was not them who targeted #AlShabaab — no strikes in #Somalia in the past 24 hours.”

Caasimada said: “The shelling occurred at midnight last night and is reported to have been targeted at four al-Shabaab bases.

The bombings include a district headquarters, a base, a suicide bombing station and another location where fighters reportedly were preparing to attack the positions of the Jubbaland and AMISOM forces in Banaranguuni, Lower Juba region.

About 20 fighters have been killed in targeted attacks on the district headquarters, online sources have confirmed.”

Abdullahi Ali Warsame wrote: “Jubbaland administration says the US DRONES destroyed four locations belonging to Al-Shabaab, at Jilib district . Hundred fighters who under training feared dead. High ranking included Xasan Dheere, iyo mo,alin ali and Husain Ali who was trainer,5 prisoners there killed.”

AFRICOM later responded to an apparent civilian casualty allegation in its first quarterly report: “AFRICOM received two allegations from two social media accounts claiming five (5) civilians were killed as a result of U.S. airstrikes in the vicinity of Jilib and Basra, Somalia. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or locations.”

The allegations cannot be found at the moment.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    12–24

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports mention strikes on a militia camp, explosives training facility and district headquarters in the vicinity of Jilib (جيليب) town, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839. 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
    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
  • AFRICOM received two allegations from two social media accounts claiming five (5) civilians were killed as a result of U.S. airstrikes in the vicinity of Jilib and Basra, Somalia. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or locations.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    12–24

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM237-C

Incident date

July 3, 2019

Location

Iskushuban or Mareero, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.170363, 49.847404 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Province/governorate

Airwars assessment

According to a local source, heavy fighting near the port of Bari in Puntland killed two people and injured five others, including civilians. AFRICOM later declared that ” no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.”

Radio Shabelle initially said that an airstrike by an unknown party had contributed to the violence – though did not blame it directly for the casualties.

“It is not clear what led to the shelling, and it is not yet known who carried out the airstrike. There was no immediate comment from the Puntland government regarding the shelling,” noted Radio Shabelle.

“There was fighting for several hours between Puntland forces and a militia guarding a migrant group operating there. Reports indicate that Puntland forces with armored vehicles attacked the militants who were based in the Marero area of ​​Bari region.

“At least two people were killed in the fighting, while five others were wounded, including civilians.”

Halgan Media – when tweeting a link to the Radio Shabelle story – claimed the strike on a location it gave as Iskashubun – had been conducted by US forces.

However in April 2020 US Africa Command explicitly denied responsibility, noting: “January 21, 2020, AFRICOM received a report from a foreign non-government organization claiming two (2) civilians were killed and five (5) injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Iskashubun, Somalia, on July 3, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1–5

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident gave conflicting accounts on the location where civilians were killed. Radio Shabelle reported that various places in Bari, northern Puntland, were bombed. There was heavy fighting in the Mareero area, the outskirts of the port town Bossaso, for which the coordinates are: 11.33052, 49.29675. At the same time it said that shelling took place in Iskushuban district. Halgan Media, only pointed to the town of Iskushuban as the location of a strike. The coordinates for the town of Iskushuban are: 10.28178, 50.23009. It is unclear where in Bari the civilians were killed and injured. The generic coordinates for the Bari region are: 10.170363, 49.847404. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Bossaso, Mareero and Iskushuban in the Bari region (borders of Bari marked in red)

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible
    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
  • January 21, 2020, AFRICOM received a report from a foreign non-government organization claiming two (2) civilians were killed and five (5) injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Iskashubun, Somalia, on July 3, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.

Original strike reports

Unknown
  • English
    /
    Original

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1–5

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM236-C

Incident date

June 25, 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

A named man, Abow Ali Wardi (or Wardiyow), was widely reported killed in a US targeted strike near Kunyo Barrow. While there were some local claims that the victim was a non combatant, AFRICOM later insisted the target was “an al-Shabaab facilitator” and that “It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that civilian casualties did not occur as a result of U.S. military action.”

Reporting the action 48 hours after the strike, AFRICOM said it had carried out an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in Kunyo Barrow which had killed one “militant”. AFRICOM also asserted that “Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our processes and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis” – despite presumably being aware of local reports.

Somalimemo, the pro al Shabaab site, provided what it said was a detailed account: “More details are coming in about US drone strikes in the Lower Shabelle region around 05:00 (5pm). The airstrikes near the Kuunyo-Barrow area targeted Abow Ali Wardi, a businessman in livestock and farming, who was driving his own car. About three missiles were fired as he left Kuunyo Barrow on his way to his home in Arabow. He had previously taken patients for treatment in the free hospital in Kunyo. Abow, who was killed by an American strike around 18km from Kunyo, was cut into three pieces according to some journalists who visited the hospital’s mortuary today. His head and hands were severed, while the rest of his body was a net.

“Fifty people from the Arabow area, including the victim’s father and other people who attended the funeral, were furious and fiercely accusing the United States of America. “Our son was not al-Shabaab, he was a businessman, he was operating his car, he never went to the United States,” said one of Abow’s uncles. Abow was a young man in his mid-thirties who left behind 11 children and three wives, two of whom are pregnant. Arabow residents said they were also deeply saddened by the death of Abow as he was an active trader they had known from his youth.”

Aaqbaar Online – which described the victim as “in his early 40’s leaving 11 children and three wives behind”, later reported that the victim’s family were calling on the US government “to carry out impartial and urgent investigations over Wardiyow’s death.”

However in April 2020, AFRICOM explicitly denied any civilians had been harmed in the attack: “June 26, 2019, AFRICOM received two allegations from two social media accounts claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on June 25, 2019. AFRICOM received a duplicate allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated. Contrary to allegations that the individual killed was a civilian, U.S. intelligence confirmed the identity of the individual as an al-Shabaab facilitator. The vehicle and occupant were observed in support of known al-Shabaab locations and personnel. Strike video indicates that the effects of the airstrike were limited to the vehicle as the strike occurred in an isolated area. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that civilian casualties did not occur as a result of U.S. military action.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abow Ali Wardi (or Wardarow) Adult male Mid 30s to early 40s, described locally as a businessman and farmer

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 (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • 'US drone strike on civilians in Lower Shabelle' ('Diyaaradaha Mareykanka oo qof shacab ah ku dilay shabeellaha Hoose') SomaliMemo TV video, posted June 26th 2019, on the death of Abow Ali Wardi in a confirmed US drone strike.
  • The vehicle of Abow Ali Wardi, destroyed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The vehicle of Abow Ali Wardi, destroyed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The vehicle of Abow Ali Wardi, destroyed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The vehicle of Abow Ali Wardi, destroyed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The vehicle of Abow Ali Wardi, destroyed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The body of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The body of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The funeral of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • The funeral of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • Relatives and friends at the funeral of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • Relatives and friends at the funeral of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)
  • Relatives and friends at the funeral of Abow Ali Wardi, killed in a lethal US drone strike on June 25th 2019 (via SomaliMemo)

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
    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
  • June 26, 2019, AFRICOM received two allegations from two social media accounts claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on June 25, 2019. AFRICOM received a duplicate allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated. Contrary to allegations that the individual killed was a civilian, U.S. intelligence confirmed the identity of the individual as an al-Shabaab facilitator. The vehicle and occupant were observed in support of known al-Shabaab locations and personnel. Strike video indicates that the effects of the airstrike were limited to the vehicle as the strike occurred in an isolated area. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that civilian casualties did not occur 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 one airstrike targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, June 25, 2019 (...)

At this time, we assess the airstrike killed one (1) militant.

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

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 (7) [ collapse]