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
Air

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

USSOM321

Incident date

October 18, 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

A US airstrike targeted an Al Shabaab member in Jilib, AFRICOM confirmed via email to Airwars.

The response reads: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one airstrike in Jilib, Somalia on Oct. 18 targeting one al-Shabaab terrorist. The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike yielded no death or injuries of AS terrorist(s). 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 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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one airstrike in Jilib, Somalia on Oct. 18 targeting one al-Shabaab terrorist. The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike yielded no death or injuries of AS terrorist(s). 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

USSOM320

Incident date

October 6, 2020

Location

Weelshit, Gedo, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

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

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

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

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

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

The incident occured at 11:45 pm local time.

Summary

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

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

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

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM319a

Incident date

September 21, 2020

Location

Jana Cabdalle, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.02819, 42.287022 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A US airstrike targeted a vehicle in Jana Cabdalle, AFRICOM confirmed to Airwars via email.

The Africa Command stated: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one airstrike in Jana Cabdalle, Somalia on Sept. 21 to prevent a military vehicle from being commandeered by al-Shabaab terrorists.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike destroyed one already damaged military vehicle that was being scavenged by al-Shabaab members.

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 Jana Cabdalle, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.02819, 42.287022. 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 Jana Cabdalle, Somalia on Sept. 21 to prevent a military vehicle from being commandeered by al-Shabaab terrorists.
The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike destroyed one already damaged military vehicle that was being scavenged by al-Shabaab members.
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

USSOM319-C

Incident date

September 20, 2020

Location

Moyiloow, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.18433, 44.65022 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Eight civilians were allegedly killed in a joint US/Somali military operation near Tortorrow.

Halgan Media said: “US trained Somali Paramilitary Forces (Danab) executed 8 civilians inside a Mosque during an overnight raid targeting the village of Moyiloow in the Lower Shabelle province of Somalia. All the victims where executed at close range. Two of them where brothers.”

The Horn of Africa Centre for Regional Studies reported a Danab special forces operation in the area with aerial support from the US. It said eight suspected Al Shabaab members had been killed.

In its fourth quarter civilian casualty assessment AFRICOM wrote: “On Sept. 21, 2020 USAFRICOM received one (1) report from an online media source claiming eight (8) civilians were killed as a result of a joint Somali/U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Tortorrow, Somalia on Sept. 21, 2020. USAFRICOM’s assessment is ongoing.”

Airwars has so far not been able to find a clear allegation of civilian harm against US forces.

In the following report AFRICOM said the allegation was unsubstantiated: “After review, the report was assessed as unsubstantiated. U.S. forces were not directly involved in this operation and no U.S. military strike took place at the time and place reported. Partner force reporting and sensitive intelligence confirmed that no civilians were killed in the operation. The source of the report is a known al-Shabaab propaganda outlet that falsely stated that the partner force destroyed a mosque during the operation. U.S. Africa Command performed a careful assessment of the area after the operation and confirmed that a mosque was not destroyed in the operation.”

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Moyiloow, alternatively spelled Moyanow, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.18433, 44.65022. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Mar 5, 2021
  • Nov 6, 2020
  • On Sept. 21, 2020 USAFRICOM received one (1) report from an online media source claiming eight (8) civilians were killed as a result of a joint Somali/U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Tortorrow, Somalia on Sept. 21, 2020. USAFRICOM’s assessment is ongoing.

  • (Unsubstantiated) On Sept. 21, 2020, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source stating eight (8) civilians were killed as a result of a joint Somali and U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Tortorrow, Somalia on Sept. 21, 2020. After review, the report was assessed as unsubstantiated. U.S. forces were not directly involved in this operation and no U.S. military strike took place at the time and place reported. Partner force reporting and sensitive intelligence confirmed that no civilians were killed in the operation. The source of the report is a known al-Shabaab propaganda outlet that falsely stated that the partner force destroyed a mosque during the operation. U.S. Africa Command performed a careful assessment of the area after the operation and confirmed that a mosque was not destroyed in the operation.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM318

Incident date

September 9, 2020

Location

Amreereey, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.42943, 42.715401 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

An alleged US drone strike killed 17 Al Shabaab fighters near Amreereey.

SNA, the Somali forces’ radio, said that the strike “was carried out in collaboration with the Somali National Army and its international allies, took place in Amrerey area of Jilib district in Middle Juba region.” It added: “The militants killed in the shelling were 17 as well as al-Shabaab’s chief of finance for Jubba regions, Sheikh Abdullahi Ali Adan.”

Halgan Media quoted the SNA piece and said 18 militants were killed in an apparent error. It suspected that US drones conducted the strikes.

In an email to Airwars, AFRICOM said that it conducted the last strike in Somalia on August 25th. However, a CIA drone strike remains a possibility.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Amreereey area. A possible location for this area is the Mareerey area, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.42943, 42.715401. 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
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (3) [ collapse]