US Forces in Somalia

Library image of an armed Reaper drone, December 2019 (US Air Force/ Senior Sergeant Haley Stevens)

Belligerent
Country
Somalia
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment
Strike Status
Strike Type

Incident Code

USSOM305-C

Incident date

April 6, 2020

Location

جيليب, Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were killed and one child injured by a US airstrike near Jilib, according to a number of local sources.

Mareeg said that at least two civilians had been killed.

Halgan Media claimed the following: “Suspected US drones launched a series of strikes overnight bombing the Al Shabaab controlled town of Jilib in the Middle Jubba province of Somalia. Sources that spoke with Halgan Media on condition of anonymity reveal three missiles rained down on the town in the midst of the night. The strikes struck a densely populated neighborhood in the town. Three civilians where instantly killed in the deadly drone strike according to sources. The victims have been identified as two males and a women.”

Morad News tweeted that a child was injured in addition to three civilians killed.

AFRICOM itself insisted it had caused no civilian harm: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Apr. 6. The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed five (5) terrorists.

“U.S. Africa Command currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from the April 6, 2020 airstrike in Jilib, Somalia. As with any allegation of civilian casualties U.S. Africa Command receives and reviews any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties.”

Later AFRICOM detailed the rebuttal of civilian harm in its quarterly civilian harm report: “Contrary to the allegations stating the airstrike targeted civilians, including a child and an elderly woman, an airstrike was executed on April 6, 2020 against five adult males which U.S. intelligence confirmed were al-Shabaab members. No civilians were observed in the area before or after the strike. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the five al-Shabaab members. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. Additionally, the sources of the allegations are known al-Shabaab media and propaganda outlets, or are sympathetic to al-Shabaab. The sources used photos that were published in 2019.”

The original source of the images cannot be found at this time. In an email to Airwars, AFRICOM clarified “that it did appear on a Somalia-based website in 2019” but refused to give any further details.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (1 woman2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Alleged victim of US strike on Jilib on April 6th, 2020 (via Morad News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Alleged victim of US strike on Jilib on April 6th, 2020 (via Morad News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Ahmed Hussein, allegedly injured in US strike on Jilib on April 6th, 2020 (via Morad News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Alleged victim of US strike on Jilib on April 6th, 2020 (via Morad News)
  • Ahmed Hussein, allegedly injured in US strike on Jilib on April 6th, 2020 (via Shahad News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes in the vicinity of Jilib (جيليب) town, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • April 6, 2020, (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received four allegations from online media sources and social media accounts claiming three (3) civilians were killed and one (1) civilian injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on April 6, 2020. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. Contrary to the allegations stating the airstrike targeted civilians, including a child and an elderly woman, an airstrike was executed on April 6, 2020 against five adult males which U.S. intelligence confirmed were al-Shabaab members. No civilians were observed in the area before or after the strike. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the five al-Shabaab members. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action. Additionally, the sources of the allegations are known al-Shabaab media and propaganda outlets, or are sympathetic to al-Shabaab. The sources used photos that were published in 2019.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Apr. 6.

"By assisting our partners in East Africa, we diminish a serious threat to Somalia as well as to the U.S. homeland," said Col. Christopher Karns, director of public affairs, U.S. Africa Command. "Our efforts help to protect Somalis, Americans, and our international partners. We take this responsibility very seriously and continue to place pressure on the enemy."

The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed five (5) terrorists.

U.S. Africa Command currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from the April 6, 2020 airstrike in Jilib, Somalia. As with any allegation of civilian casualties U.S. Africa Command receives and reviews any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties.

U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development.

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (1 woman2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM304

Incident date

April 5, 2020

Location

مبارك, Mubarak, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.9172773, 44.7731843 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Eight Al Shabaab militants were allegedly killed by three US strikes near Mubaraak.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

The command’s initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

SONNA provided the same death toll but said only one strike was conducted: “On the 5th of April 2020,the Federal Government of Somalia, in partnership with the United

States Africa Command (AFRICOM), conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Mubarak, Somalia.

This precision airstrike killed eight (8) Al-Shabaab, terrorists.”

The victim number has been reflected in USSOM302.

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Mubarak (مبارك) village, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.9172773, 44.7731843. 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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

"Security is a pre-requisite for economic growth and development; U.S. Africa Command assists Somalia and other African nations in building capable and professional militaries every single day," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "To help Africa achieve its potential requires military assistance and that is what the U.S. affords our African partners."

The command's initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

“As the world works to contain COVID-19, it is important our partners recognize we continue to be committed to the security progress in Somalia and will continue to disrupt al-Shabaab's terrorist activities," said Castellanos. "This is a responsibility that AFRICOM takes very seriously."

U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development.

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

Summary

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

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM303

Incident date

April 5, 2020

Location

مبارك, Mubarak, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.9172773, 44.7731843 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Eight Al Shabaab militants were allegedly killed by three US strikes near Mubaraak.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

The command’s initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

SONNA provided the same death toll but said only one strike was conducted: “On the 5th of April 2020,the Federal Government of Somalia, in partnership with the United

States Africa Command (AFRICOM), conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Mubarak, Somalia.

This precision airstrike killed eight (8) Al-Shabaab, terrorists.”

The victim number has been reflected in USSOM302.

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Mubarak (مبارك) village, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.9172773, 44.7731843. 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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

"Security is a pre-requisite for economic growth and development; U.S. Africa Command assists Somalia and other African nations in building capable and professional militaries every single day," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "To help Africa achieve its potential requires military assistance and that is what the U.S. affords our African partners."

The command's initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

“As the world works to contain COVID-19, it is important our partners recognize we continue to be committed to the security progress in Somalia and will continue to disrupt al-Shabaab's terrorist activities," said Castellanos. "This is a responsibility that AFRICOM takes very seriously."

U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development.

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

Summary

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

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM302

Incident date

April 5, 2020

Location

مبارك, Mubarak, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.9172773, 44.7731843 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Eight Al Shabaab militants were allegedly killed by three US strikes near Mubaraak.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

The command’s initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

SONNA provided the same death toll but said only one strike was conducted: “On the 5th of April 2020,the Federal Government of Somalia, in partnership with the United

States Africa Command (AFRICOM), conducted an airstrike against Al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Mubarak, Somalia.

This precision airstrike killed eight (8) Al-Shabaab, terrorists.”

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Mubarak (مبارك) village, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.9172773, 44.7731843. 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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted three (3) airstrikes targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Mubaraak, Somalia, Apr. 5.

"Security is a pre-requisite for economic growth and development; U.S. Africa Command assists Somalia and other African nations in building capable and professional militaries every single day," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "To help Africa achieve its potential requires military assistance and that is what the U.S. affords our African partners."

The command's initial assessment concluded these airstrikes killed eight (8) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

“As the world works to contain COVID-19, it is important our partners recognize we continue to be committed to the security progress in Somalia and will continue to disrupt al-Shabaab's terrorist activities," said Castellanos. "This is a responsibility that AFRICOM takes very seriously."

U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development.

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

Summary

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

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM301

Incident date

April 3, 2020

Location

Bush Madina, Bay, Libya

Geolocation

3.02558, 43.650749 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Five Al Shabaab members were reportedly killed by a US strike near Bush Madina.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Bush Madina, Somalia, April 3.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed five (5) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

SONNA wrote: “The Federal Government of Somalia, in partnership with the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of near Hawal barbar, Somalia.

This precision airstrike killed three (5) al-Shabaab terrorists and reduced one (1) compound The FGS and the US AFRICOM take significant measures to prevent civilian casualties in the fight against the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist puppet al-Shabaab and investigate each reported allegation thoroughly. At this time, no civilians are assessed to have been killed or injured in the attack.”

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Bush Madina village, for which the generic coordinates are: 3.02558, 43.650749. 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
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM300

Incident date

April 2, 2020

Location

Bush Madina, Bay, Somalia

Geolocation

3.02558, 43.650749 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Three Al Shabaab fighters were allegedly killed in a US airstrike near Bush Madina.

The AFRICOM press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Bush Madina, Somalia, April 2.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed three (3) terrorists. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

The Somali Ministry of Information said: “On 02 April 2020, the FGS, in partnership with the US Africa Command, conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Bush Madina, Somalia. This precision airstrike killed three (3) AS terrorists and reduced one (1) compound.”

AFRICOM later provided details on a high-profile targeted allegedly killed in the strike: “U.S. Africa Command post-strike assessments confirm that one of the three terrorists killed in the command’s Apr. 2 precision airstrike was a long-standing, high-ranking leader in the al-Shabaab terrorist organization.

The terrorist, Yusuf Jiis, was one of the foundational members of the terrorist group and held many significant positions that facilitated al-Shabaab’s violent and harmful activities throughout East Africa.”

Garowe revealed details on another target: “According to multiple police sources, Yonis Sheikh Dahir was one of the three victims of Bush Madina raid, about 135 miles West of Mogadishu, where they had been coordinating Al-Shabaab activities.

Dahir, reports indicate, was a counterintelligence operative, and has been holding several high ranking positions within the Al-Shabaab, including the chief explosive commander in Southern Somalia.”

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Bush Madina village, for which the generic coordinates are: 3.02558, 43.650749. 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
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM299-C

Incident date

March 27, 2020

Location

near Buulo Fuulay, Bay, Somalia

Geolocation

2.11064, 43.52329 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were killed in a US strike near Buulo Fuulay, according to a pro Al Shabaab outlet.

Somali Memo wrote: “More details about the bombings of US warplanes hit the Bay region in southern Somalia on Wednesday night.

Drones bombed a scooter with two civilians Saturday night, the killed were forced out of Buhodle district and headed towards Dodala village, about 30 km from Fula.

Residents said the victims were Abdi Fatah Abdirahman Adan and Adow Elmi Kiraro, relatives of the slain men who spoke to the media about the incident and denied false claims that they had been killed by militants.

The United States is dropping drone strikes on the Somali people while hiding itself in a war on so-called terrorists.”

AFRICOM, however, claimed: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Buulo Fuulay, Somalia, Mar. 27.

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

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

Halgan Media said that Al Shabaab had announced to publish pictures of the victim. Airwars will add these in case they are published.

AFRICOM later deemed the claims of civilian harm as unsubstantiated in its quarterly civilian casuatly assessment report: “On March 27, 2020 an airstrike was executed on two individuals which U.S. intelligence confirmed were al-Shabaab members. The airstrike was executed after the two fighters departed a known al-Shabaab compound on a motorbike. The strike was conducted in a remote area where the effects were confirmed to be limited to the individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • 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
    2

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Buulo Fuulay village, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.11064, 43.52329. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • March 28, 2020, (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Buulo Fulaay, Somalia, on March 27, 2020. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated. On March 27, 2020 an airstrike was executed on two individuals which U.S. intelligence confirmed were al-Shabaab members. The airstrike was executed after the two fighters departed a known al-Shabaab compound on a motorbike. The strike was conducted in a remote area where the effects were confirmed to be limited to the individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • 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
    2

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM298a-C

Incident date

March 17–18, 2020

Location

Beerta Xassan Huutaan, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.176352, 45.150204 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Between one and two civilians were allegedly killed in a US and Somali forces raid or airstrike on Beerta Xassan Huutaan near Afgoye.

The pro Al Shabaab outlet Halgan Media said: “Sources reveal US and Somali special forces raided a rural farming village outside the town of Afgoye in the Lower Shabelle province of Somalia. The joint unit shot and killed an elderly man, than abducted 8 other people that where whisked away in unmarked helicopters.”

It later added: “The elderly man that was shot and killed is 70 years old. He was executed during the raid while tending to his crops.”

Morad News tweeted: “At least 2 farmers killed incl 70 yr old man after Somali troops backed by US special forces attack farm village near Afgoye town in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region. Residents in the farm village also say 8 other farmers have been abducted by the troops – Residents”

Kamal Hassan Hussein posted on Facebook that “eight people, including one of my aunt Abdulahi Ali Arale, were abducted on a farm about 5km from Afgoye, two days ago.” He added that aircraft and mortars were used.

Halgan Media said: “Local contacts based in the Lower Shabelle province have been able to confirm the identity of the victim. Whats more surprising is that the death tole has increased to a total of two as a result of the botch US led night raid. Sources have identified the elderly victim as Xassan Cuuke, a native of El Buur town in Central Somalia yet worked at a farming village in the Lower Shabelle province.”

The event was not mentioned in AFRICOM second quarterly civilian casualty assessment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Supposed location of raid or airstrike in Beerta Xassan Huutaan around March 17th, 2020 (via Kamal Hassan Hussein)
  • Destruction after raid or airstrike on Beerta Xassan Huutaan around March 17th, 2020 (via Kamal Hassan Hussein)

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Somalia Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (10) [ collapse]