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
Belligerent Assessment
Strike Status
Strike Type

Incident Code

USSOM328

Incident date

January 7, 2021

Location

Saaxa Weyne, Bay, Somalia

Geolocation

2.8263, 44.4789 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Five Al Shabaab member were allegedly killed by a US airstrike on Saaxa Weyne.

The press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted one airstrike in the vicinity of Saaxa Weyne, Somalia, Jan. 7, 2021.
Initial assessments indicate the strike killed five al-Shabaab members including the targeted al-Shabaab leaders.
The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation.”

It quoted U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson saying: ““This strike targeted known al-Shabaab leaders who facilitated finance, weapons, fighters, and explosives. One is suspected of being involved in a previous attack against U.S. and Somali forces.”

Anadolu reported: “However, Speaking to Somali state television, Somali army chief Gen. Odowa Yusuf Rage said that eight top al-Shabaab leaders were killed in the airstrike, including area militant boss Mukhtar Nurow.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–8

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Saaxa Weyn, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.8263, 44.4789. 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
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–8

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM327-C

Incident date

January 1, 2021

Location

Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were allegedly wounded in two US airstrikes on Kunya Barrow.

Radio Al Furqaan, the Al Shabaab-affiliated radio station bombed in the incident, said: “On Friday afternoon, January 1, 2021, US warplanes bombed the headquarters of Al-Furqan Islamic Radio in Kunya Barrow, Lower Shabelle region, destroying the station’s building and equipment.

There were no casualties among the staff and staff of the station who were absent from the station at the time of the evening prayers, but civilians were injured in the vicinity of the station, especially an elderly man who was critically injured and a woman.”

In a press release the station added: “Al-Furqan is an independent media organization that was established in 2009 and has always been the voice of the oppressed people of Somalia, reporting objectively and impartially on the decades-old conflict in Somalia. Since our first broadcast, we have had to endure the challenges of working in a conflict zone and worked under extremely difficult circumstances in order to reveal the harsh realities of the U.S-led war in Somalia to the world.

Our offices in Southern Somalia are well known to the public and are not affiliated with or connected to Al-Shabaab. Our offices do not serve as training camps or headquarters for Al-Shabaab, rather they are public venues, easily accessible to the general public.”

However, other sources such as Radio Dalsan contest that view and say that Al Shabaab and Radio Al Furqaan are closely connected.

AFRICOM said in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.

Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation.”

Halgan Media and Garowe both said the strikes were conducted by a drone.

The first strike and casualty toll are reflected in USSOM326-C.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Footage of the strike on Kunya Barrow on January 1st, 2021 (via AFRICOM)

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

Editor’s note: This release has been updated to include additional assessment.

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.

Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.

"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”

U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.

"Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize innocents,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorists off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”

U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

A video of the mission strike has been posted at: https://go.usa.gov/xA9ZV

____

Original release: In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.



Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Final assessments are ongoing, however the initial assessment concluded the strikes resulted in the destruction of both targeted compounds.



The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.



"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”



U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.



“Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize civilians,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorist off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”



U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for 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
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM326-C

Incident date

January 1, 2021

Location

حرمك, Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.794763, 43.384756 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were allegedly wounded in two US airstrikes on Kunya Barrow.

Radio Al Furqaan, the Al Shabaab-affiliated radio station bombed in the incident, said: “On Friday afternoon, January 1, 2021, US warplanes bombed the headquarters of Al-Furqan Islamic Radio in Kunya Barrow, Lower Shabelle region, destroying the station’s building and equipment.

There were no casualties among the staff and staff of the station who were absent from the station at the time of the evening prayers, but civilians were injured in the vicinity of the station, especially an elderly man who was critically injured and a woman.”

In a press release the station added: “Al-Furqan is an independent media organization that was established in 2009 and has always been the voice of the oppressed people of Somalia, reporting objectively and impartially on the decades-old conflict in Somalia. Since our first broadcast, we have had to endure the challenges of working in a conflict zone and worked under extremely difficult circumstances in order to reveal the harsh realities of the U.S-led war in Somalia to the world.

Our offices in Southern Somalia are well known to the public and are not affiliated with or connected to Al-Shabaab. Our offices do not serve as training camps or headquarters for Al-Shabaab, rather they are public venues, easily accessible to the general public.”

However, other sources such as Radio Dalsan contest that view and say that Al Shabaab and Radio Al Furqaan are closely connected.

AFRICOM said in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.

Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation.”

Halgan Media and Garowe both said the strikes were conducted by a drone.

In its first quarterly assessment in 2021 AFRICOM said the incident was under review.

The second strike is reflected in USSOM327.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Footage of the strike on Kunya Barrow on January 1st, 2021 (via AFRICOM)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a compound being struck within the city of Kunya Barrow (حرمك). According to one source, @esj_news, the exact coordinates for this strike are: 0.794763, 43.384756. Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we can confirm this location to be accurate.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Mar 5, 2021
  • Jan. 2, 2021, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source claiming three (3) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Jan. 1, 2021. U.S. Africa Command’s assessment of this report is ongoing.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

Editor’s note: This release has been updated to include additional assessment.

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.

Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.

"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”

U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.

"Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize innocents,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorists off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”

U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

A video of the mission strike has been posted at: https://go.usa.gov/xA9ZV

____

Original release: In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.



Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Final assessments are ongoing, however the initial assessment concluded the strikes resulted in the destruction of both targeted compounds.



The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.



"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”



U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.



“Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize civilians,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorist off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”



U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for 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
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM325

Incident date

December 24, 2020

Location

سااكوو, Saakow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

1.63938, 42.452171 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

A US airstrike targeted Al Shabaab fighters near Saakow.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, Dec. 24.

The initial assessment concluded the strike damaged the compound and several al-Shabaab fighters fled, thwarting nefarious activity.

The command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. Efforts to disrupt enemy operations, as well as monitor and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab network continue.”

Other sources published similar accounts. A CNN report criticised the wording of an AFRICOM tweet about the incident that was later deleted.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Saakow (سااكوو) village. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Saakow are: 1.63938, 42.452171.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, Dec. 24.

The initial assessment concluded the strike damaged the compound and several al-Shabaab fighters fled, thwarting nefarious activity.

The command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. Efforts to disrupt enemy operations, as well as monitor and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab network continue.

"U.S. Africa Command continues to maintain a sharp focus on East African threats," said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence. "Al-Shabaab seeks to not only destroy governance and security in Somalia, but target innocent civilians in Kenya and elsewhere. We will continue to monitor and maintain pressure to the network."

U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Security is one critical stabilizing pillar alongside governance and economic opportunity.

U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with international and African partners to ensure long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM324a

Incident date

December 21, 2020

Location

Burr Heybo, Bay, Somalia

Geolocation

2.99114, 44.30619 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A US airstrike targeted Al Shabaab in Burr Heybo, AFRICOM told Airwars via email.

The correspondence reads: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one airstrike in Burr Heybo, Somalia on Dec. 21 targeting two (2) al-Shabaab terrorist. The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike yielded no death or injuries of al-Shabaab terrorists. U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Burr Heybo, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.99114, 44.30619. 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
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one airstrike in Burr Heybo, Somalia on Dec. 21 targeting two (2) al-Shabaab terrorist. The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike yielded no death or injuries of al-Shabaab terrorists. U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Incident Code

USSOM324

Incident date

December 11, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two US airstrikes reportedly killed between eight and ten Al Shabaab fighters near Jilib.

Garowe reported: “Amid plans to withdraw from Somalia, the US Africa Command conducted two airstrikes on Thursday in the Horn of Africa nation, killing at least eight Al-Shabaab commanders linked to the manufacturing of explosives besides coordinating attacks in the country.”

AFRICOM confirmed the strikes saying: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two (2) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab explosives experts in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Dec. 10.

The initial assessment indicates the strike killed eight terrorists who were known to play important roles in producing explosives for al-Shabaab, to include vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). These devices are used frequently to target innocent civilians. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed.”

SONNA reported a higher death toll: “Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed 10 al-Shabaab militants. These facilities have a history of producing explosives for al-Shabaab suicide attacks.”

The incident might be related to events in USSOM322.

The first strike is reflected in USSOM323.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, 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:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM323

Incident date

December 11, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two US airstrikes reportedly killed between eight and ten Al Shabaab fighters near Jilib.

Garowe reported: “Amid plans to withdraw from Somalia, the US Africa Command conducted two airstrikes on Thursday in the Horn of Africa nation, killing at least eight Al-Shabaab commanders linked to the manufacturing of explosives besides coordinating attacks in the country.”

AFRICOM confirmed the strikes saying: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two (2) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab explosives experts in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Dec. 10.

The initial assessment indicates the strike killed eight terrorists who were known to play important roles in producing explosives for al-Shabaab, to include vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). These devices are used frequently to target innocent civilians. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed.”

SONNA reported a higher death toll: “Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed 10 al-Shabaab militants. These facilities have a history of producing explosives for al-Shabaab suicide attacks.”

The incident might be related to events in USSOM322.

The second strike is reflected in USSOM324.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, 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:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM322

Incident date

November 6, 2020

Location

غندرشي, Gandarshe, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.8349369, 44.9668452 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A CIA paramilitary officer was killed in Somalia as a result of a joint ground raid with Somali special forces, it was later reported. Four elite Somali Danab troops also died during the event.

Sources close to Al Shabaab first reported on the incident. Somali Memo said: “Reports from Gandarshe area say that a suicide attack was carried out by allied forces in the area.

An improvised explosive device (IED) vehicle driven by a suicide bomber struck an American and Alpha Group militia.

An official statement from the Al-Shabaab Mujahideen Command said that the attack killed five soldiers, including an American soldier and 4 members of the Alpha Group militia, the statement said.

Reports say an explosion injured three Somali soldiers and an American soldier who were taken to Halane Camp.

The allied forces returned from Gandarshe with bodies and wounded, and military equipment was found at the scene of the attack, the sources added.

Residents said they heard the sound of US warplanes patrolling the area at midnight and the sound of a large explosion targeting them.”

The New York Times later wrote: “The officer was a member of the C.I.A.’s paramilitary division, the Special Activities Center, and a former member of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6. The identity of the officer remained classified, and the circumstances of the killing were ambiguous. It was unclear whether the officer was killed in a counterterrorism raid or was the victim of an enemy attack, former American officials said. The C.I.A. declined to comment.”

The Intercept gave details of the CIA officer’s apparent identity: “Michael Goodboe, a 54-year-old former Navy SEAL who worked for the CIA’s paramilitary unit, died after succumbing to injuries from an improvised explosive device, according to the two sources. The two sources requested anonymity because of the sensitivity around the attack and because they were not authorized to disclose Goodboe’s death… One of the people familiar with the attack said Goodboe was flown to Germany, where the U.S. has a military hospital, and later died of his injuries.”

Somali Memo said on November 26th that: “Although the exact location of the killing has not yet been announced, it is believed that he was killed in the Lower Shabelle region as part of a night raid by US forces and the Bangaraaf militia in areas controlled by Islamic law.”

On December 4th, The Guardian revealed both the date and location of the failed raid, citing local intelligence officials: “The [CIA] officer was deployed alongside Somali and US special forces during the operation at Gendershe, a coastal village about 30 miles south-west of Mogadishu, and died when fighters from the al-Shabaab extremist movement detonated a car bomb minutes after the raid began on 6 November, the official said. A Somali intelligence officer who works with the US-trained Somali ‘Danab’ special forces unit in Lower Shabelle said: ‘Our officers were supported by the US officers. We flew at 2am that night. The soldiers disembarked from the chopper and went on foot in the bush before a huge explosion went off and killed the American friend and four of our [Somali] officers.'”

The UK-based newspaper added that “Somali officials said the operation was launched following information that three senior al-Shabaab commanders would be in Gendershe that night. Among them was Abdullahi Osman Mohamed, an expert bomb-maker believed to be responsible for many of the powerful devices that have killed hundreds of civilians in Somalia in recent years…. But the Gendershe raid was a failure. After a 40-minute firefight, the US and Somali forces withdrew. ‘The operation was not successful. We did not get them,’ a second Somali officer said.”

The Guardian also cited al Shabaab commanders: “Al-Shabaab sources confirmed the clash, and claimed they had ambushed the US and Somali forces after learning of the operation in advance. ‘American soldiers accompanied by Somali forces raided an al-Shabaab base in Gendershe. We had received intelligence that they were coming. We were ready and a fierce gun battle broke out. A number of officers were killed including the CIA officer,’ Abu Mohamed, an al-Shabaab commander in Lower Shabelle, told the Guardian.”

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (18) [ collapse]

  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Supposed body parts of soldier killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Gear and body parts of soldiers killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Supposed body parts of soldier killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Supposed body parts of soldier killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Supposed body parts of soldier killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Gear of CIA officer killed by Al Shabaab on November 6th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village Gandarshe (غندرشي), for which the coordinates are: 1.8349369, 44.9668452. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (12) [ collapse]