Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

Lib2011-002

Incident date

February 15, 2011

Location

بنغازي‎, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.112582, 20.082151 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

On February 16th, between 6:30 and 7:45 PM local time, multiple sources reported one death and multiple injuries in Benghazi after the breakup by security forces of a sit-in.

The reported death was of Khaled al-Naji ‘Abderrazeq Khanfar, a 22 year old student who was shot by Gaddafi security forces.

Amnesty quotes the father of Khaled, “We had closed the shop and gone home and I told him not to go out but he wanted to go to check as our shop is right next to the ISA building where there was the demonstration. He went out at about 7.30pm to 8pm and less than an hour later we received a call that he had been killed. He was shot in the chest.”

Reuters, DW Arabic, and various Twitter reports confirmed additional injuries.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–38
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Benghazi (بنغازي‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.112582, 20.082151. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–38
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-001

Incident date

February 15, 2011

Location

بنغازي‎, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.112582, 20.082151 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In one of the first mass casualty events of the 2011 Libya uprising,  Amnesty International reported 59 civilians injured on February 15th as a result of demonstrations in Benghazi against Gaddafi forces. The demonstrations lasted until the end of February 16th.

Amnesty International stated that “protesters [were] reportedly assaulted by members of the police, riot police (Central Security), the People’s Leadership and Revolutionary Committees. According to al-Jala’a Hospital records and testimonies of victims and witnesses, in the two days 59 protesters were treated for injuries not caused by firearms.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    59
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Benghazi (بنغازي‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.112582, 20.082151. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    59
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM008-C

Incident date

September 14, 2009

Location

مدينة ﺑﺮﺍﻭة, Baraawe, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.112554, 44.028921 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Up to six people, including at least one possible civilian, were killed and at least two possible civilians were wounded, as a US-launched raid targeted and reportedly killed a high value al Qaeda/ al Shabab member, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, international media reported.

The attack marked the first known lethal operation by US forces in Somalia of the Obama administration.

In an operation codenamed ‘Celestial Balance’ US Special Forces launched a helicopter raid into Somalia, killing Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted in connection with the Mombasa attacks. “We’d been tracking him for years,” a senior military official told Sean D. Naylor, in the Army Times. “We knew his travel route, we knew the vehicles he was using.” Three options were initially mooted to Obama and his senior advisers: to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles from a warship off the Somali coast; a helicopter attack on the convoy, or a ‘snatch and grab operation attempting to take Nabhan alive. According to Klaidman “as everyone left the meeting that evening it was clear that the only viable plan was the lethal one.”

The US learned that Nabhan’s convoy would be setting off from Mogadishu to meet Islamic militants in the coastal town of Baraawe, the Daily Beast reported. As the convoy neared Baraawe, JSOC struck. A number of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment AH-6 Little Bird helicopters flew from a Navy ship and attacked the militants as they were breakfasting, killing six, including Nabhan, according to news reports, including Army Times. However, NPR reported that SEAL commandos fired missiles into Nabhan’s car.

The Army Times and Daily Beast stated that one helicopter also landed, with operators jumping out to load the bodies of Nabhan and three others into the aircraft, in order to retrieve Nabhan’s DNA. Following this operation, a Pentagon official told the Daily Beast that the US Special Forces wanted to increase their use of Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE), not just to kill terror targets but to rummage through their belongings”, but that “the president was not supportive” and that this became a bone of contention between Special Ops and the Obama administration.

It was unclear among sources how many militants exactly were killed, and whether civilians were among the victims. While both the Guardian and Long War Journal said that two people were killed (Nabhan and another terrorist), Mareeg, which also reported two deaths, only noted that one of them was a belligerent, suggesting a civilian fatality.

The number of killed militants thus spans from two to six, as reported by Army Times, while one civilian death cannot be excluded.

Several sources reported that the attack also wounded two people, whose combatant status again remains unclear among reports.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda in East Africa, Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–6
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was wanted by the FBI in connection with two attacks in 2002. Image via Kenyan Police

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a vehicle as it travelled through a village near Baraawe, heading south from Mogadishu. The coordinates for the town of Baraawe are: 1.112554, 44.028921. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

TIME, September 9th, 2009:

"The deadly drama of piracy, terrorism and humanitarian catastrophe that is Somalia took another twist on Sept. 14. A squad of U.S. special operations helicopter gunships, which were launched off a Navy vessel in the Indian Ocean, attacked and killed an alleged al-Qaeda leader in Somalia, U.S. officials told TIME. The dead man was believed to be Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a 28-year-old Kenyan wanted for attacks on a seaside hotel and an Israeli airliner in 2002 in Kenya."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda in East Africa, Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–6
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

B45

Incident date

December 5, 2008

Location

Kateera, North Waziristan, Pakistan

Airwars assessment

Three or four alleged militants were killed and two civilians were injured in an alleged US military attack on a house.

Two missiles were fired at a house in Kateera village in Khushal Torikhel area, however according to the Daily Times, it was not confirmed whether the militants killed were locals or foreign nationals.

Local media reported that militants, reportedly the Taliban, immediately cordoned off the vicinity in the aftermath of the strike.

According to data collected by the FATA government, three Turkmen were killed when a US drone targeted ‘a hideout’. One missile missed its target, landing in a nearby field.

There are no other details at this time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–4

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–4

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM007-C

Incident date

May 1, 2008

Location

Dusa Marreb, Galgaduud, Somalia

Geolocation

5.536238, 46.384700 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

At least five and as many as 30 civilians, including children and one woman, were reportedly killed as US-launched missiles targeted and killed several top al Shabab commanders in Dusa Marreb, a Somali village near the Ethiopian border, local and international sources reported.

Around 3am local time on May 1st, 2008, US naval-launched cruise missiles struck the vicinity of a compound in Dusa Marreb, killing, among other militants, the head of the Somali Islamist movement al Shabaab, Aden Hashi Ayro (see also SOM001), which had growing ties with Al Qaeda. Some reports claimed an AC-130 gunship was also involved in the attack.

An American military official in Washington told the New York Times: “[A]t least four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-story buildings in Dusa Marreb, a well-known hide-out for Mr. Ayro and his associates. The military official and two American intelligence officials said all indications were that Mr. Ayro was killed, along with several top lieutenants, but the attack was still being assessed.”

Insurgent leaders had been meeting in Dusa Marreb, al Shabaab-controlled broadcaster Shabelle reported, putting the death toll at 15. A Shabaab spokesperson, Mukhtar Ali Robow, told Reuters: ‘Infidel planes bombed Dusa Marreb… Two of our important people, including Ayro, were killed.’ Sheikh Muhyadin Omar was among the dead, according to the Long War Journal and Africa Confidential. Residents said ‘several other Shabaab fighters and civilians were killed, Reuters reported. Half a dozen senior Al Shabaab commanders and Ayro’s brother were killed in the strike, according to Africa Confidential.

The civilian toll spanned from “several” to as many as 30 across the sources. Some reports put the toll at “at least ten”, while Africa Confidential reported that Ayro’s wife and children, and people from nearby houses, were also reported dead. Another local resident, Jamal Mohamoud, told AFP that he had seen eight bodies in the destroyed house.

Finally, The New York Times, citing local witnesses, reported that “as many as 30 people were dead and that residents were counting skulls to determine the number.”

After Ayro’s death, al Shabaab reportedly suspected the US had tracked him through his iPhone and had banned the use of similar devices.

The incident occured between 2:00 am and 3:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Wife of Aden Hashi Ayro Adult female killed
  • Child 1 of Aden Hashi Ayro Child killed
  • Child 2 of Aden Hashi Ayro Child killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 30
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–10

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Locals of Dusa Marreb walking through the rubble of the compound the day after it was hit by a May 1st, 2008 US missile strike (via Abdi Guled/ Reuters/ New York Times)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted residential buildings in the town of Dusa Marreb, for which the generic coordinates are: 5.536238, 46.384700. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

The New York Times, May 2nd, 2008:

"An American military official in Washington, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation, said at least four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-story buildings in Dusa Marreb, a well-known hide-out for Mr. Ayro and his associates. The military official and two American intelligence officials said all indications were that Mr. Ayro was killed, along with several top lieutenants, but the attack was still being assessed.
“This was in the works for some time,” said the official. He said American intelligence agents had been tracking Mr. Ayro for weeks through a combination of communications intercepts, satellite imagery and other intelligence."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 30
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–10

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM006-C

Incident date

March 3, 2008

Location

Dhoobley, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.411429, 41.008691 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Up to six civilians were killed and as many as eight wounded as the US fired at least one and as many as three cruise missiles at Dhobley, a town in southern Somalia four miles from the Kenyan border, local and international sources reported.

Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman told AFP: “On March 2, the US conducted an attack against a known al Qaeda terrorist in southern Somalia.”

The Long War Journal reported the strike targeted Ras Kamboni Brigades leader Hassan Turki and al Qaeda leader Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan. He was a member of al Qaeda’s ruling Shura Council and reportedly controlled the group’s East Africa cells. The US had put a $25m bounty on his head. Despite anonymous officials claiming it was a cruise missile strike, an Islamist spokesperson and locals said the town was bombed and civilian targets hit in an attack carried out by a US AC-130 gunship. As Monsters and Critics reported: “‘I woke up to loud blasts and flashing lights that shook my doors and windows. Airplanes were flying at a low altitude and were firing. I ran outside and hid under trees,’ said Saed Abdulle, an elder in Dobley, which is just north of the border with Kenya.”

There were conflicting reports of casualties in the strike. A local elder, Abdullahi Sheikh Duale, said four civilians were killed. Meanwhile, witnesses said at least six people were killed in the strike.

Regarding the number of wounded, a police officer told AP that eight people were injured. However, Dhobley residents told the New York Times three civilians were wounded in the attack that partly destroyed a house. The only fatalities were three cows and a donkey, they said.

Official US sources indicated that several al Qaeda members were killed in the attack, possibly including Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, as noted by the Washington Post.

The incident occured at 03:30:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–8
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A cruise missile of the type likely fired by US forces on Dhobley, March 3, 2008 (via AFP)
  • Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was wanted by the FBI in connection with two attacks in 2002. Image via Kenyan Police

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that two houses in the town of Dhoobley (4 miles from the Kenyan border) were targeted and that witnesses/neighbours fled under tree cover. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike. However, the coordinates for the town Dhoobley are: 0.411429, 41.008691.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

AFP, March 3rd, 2008:

"The US military fired at least one cruise missile into southern Somalia near the Kenyan border, targeting an Al-Qaeda leader believed to be hiding there, a US military official said Monday.
"On March 2, the US conducted an attack against a known Al-Qaeda terrorist in southern Somalia," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in Washington.
Whitman would provide no details on the type of attack, the identity of the target, or the outcome.
But another military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least one cruise missile, and possibly more, was launched at the target in southern Somalia.
"They're still trying to assess the damage, the effectiveness," the official said, but did not elaborate on how the assessment was being carried out."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–8
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM005-C

Incident date

June 1, 2007

Location

Bargaal, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

11.285364, 51.076189 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

The destroyer USS Chafee, sailing off the coast of Somalia, fired ‘more than a dozen rounds from its 5-inch gun’ on militants in Bargal, north Somalia. The New York Times also reported that cruise missiles were fired. Somali government spokesmen claimed the strikes were launched after around 35 heavily armed militants landed on the coast near Bargal and attacked local forces.

The New York Times and analyst Micah Zenko reported that a small number of US operatives – working alongside Somali forces to hunt high-value targets believed to be among the militants – came under fire, prompting the missile launch, and enabling the US and Ethiopian troops to escape. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the 1998 embassy bombings, was among the targets, according to MSNBC and Zenko. The strike killed eight to twelve alleged militants, reportedly including men from the UK, US, Eritrea, Sweden and Yemen according to the Daily Telegraph. Five militants were also captured, a Somali official told the Chicago Tribune. The US operatives comprised three counterterrorism officials who were “investigating the computers that the militants were carrying,” Hassan Dahir, the vice-president of Puntland, told the New York Times.

In 2013 it emerged that Yemeni Mansur al Bayhani was killed in this attack. He was one of 23 al Qaeda members who had escaped from prison on Yemen in 2006, according to author and Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen’s book The Last Refuge. Al Bayhani had turned himself in to the Yemen authorities and had sworn not to carry out any attacks in Yemen. Several of the 23 escapees went on to found al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

There are no known allegations of civilian harm from this incident. The Chicago Tribune cited  a local government official, who said that no civilians were injured by the strikes as the area was uninhabited.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–12

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The USS Chafee fires its 5 inch gun on a training exercise (US Navy/ Specialist Seaman Sean Furey/Flickr)
  • 'Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, a suspected terrorist wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi, is shown in a photo released by the FBI on Oct. 10th 2001 in Washington, DC.'

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a mountainous area around the town of Bargaal. There is a mountain range just west of the town, however Airwars was unable to verify what area of the mountain range was struck. The coordinates for the town Bargaal are: 11.285364, 51.076189.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

Stars and Stripes, June 5th, 2007:

"A senior Defense official confirmed Tuesday that the USS Chafee, based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, fired more than a dozen rounds from its 5-inch gun during the strike."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–12

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM004-C

Incident date

January 23, 2007

Location

Waldena, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.074253, 41.120546 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Up to eight people – some civilians – and one al Qaeda member, were killed as a US drone reportedly targeted, and later captured, a militant leader in Waldena.

A fresh JSOC AC-130 strike in Somalia, reportedly operating from an airbase in eastern Ethiopia, targeted Ahmed Madobe, a deputy of ICU leader Hassan Turki. Madobe survived the attack but was wounded and captured, he later told The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill. His eight companions, who Madobe said included men and women ‘on the run’ with him, were all killed. It is unclear whether all of the the eight victims were civilians. Madobe told the Nation:

“At around 4am we woke up to perform the dawn prayers, and that’s when the planes started to hit us. The entire airspace was full of planes. There was AC-130, helicopters and fighter jets. The sky was full of strikes. They were hitting us, pounding us with heavy weaponry.”

At around 10am, he added, Ethiopian and US forces landed by helicopter and captured him. Somalia Report said the attack was on an al Qaeda supply convoy, and ‘follow-up operations’ confirmed the strike killed Tariq Abdullah.

A single source claims an SAS unit entered Somalia with members of US Delta Force (part of JSOC) to identify the remains of British and other foreign fighters allegedly killed in this event. The joint mission took DNA samples from 50 exhumed bodies and four British citizens were identified, the report claimed.

A leaked US State Department cable obtained by Wikileaks also later confirmed this event: “[Somali Trasnsitional Government Prime Minister] Meles termed the second AC-130 gunship strike on January 23 as “terrific.” The targets were hit, and there were no civilian casualties. The problem was that in less than 24 hours after the strike, the Washington Post published a report on it, clearly showing there is no “opsec” on these military operations, he said. (NOTE: The press leak comes at a very sensitive time. PM Meles is hosting the African Union Summit, which will attract over 30 heads of state to select a new AU Assembly chair. END NOTE.) The headlines on Somalia are not diplomacy and peace-building, but U.S. military operations. This has caused the Arab League and European Union, as well as some African states, to question/weaken support for IGASOM and peace-building in Somalia, the Prime Minister remarked.”

The incident occured at approximately 4:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 8
  • (2–3 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place near the border village Waldena. Various mapping sources point to different areas for this village but were not conclusive about its location. The village should be somewhere in this area between the towns Dhobley and Hosingo: 0.074253, 41.120546. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

Washington Post, January 24th, 2017:

"The United States launched an airstrike in Somalia against suspected terrorist targets _ the second such attack this month, defense officials said Wednesday.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the action was carried out in secret, provided few details about the strike by an Air Force AC-130 gunship earlier this week and were uncertain whether the intended target was killed.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 8
  • (2–3 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–9
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (9) [ collapse]