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
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Strike Status
Strike Type
Infrastructure

Incident Code

SOM016a-1

Incident date

January 12, 2013

Location

Bulo Marer, Somalia

Airwars assessment

French commandos failed to a rescue a French spy held hostage by al Shabaab since 2009. Paris claimed the militants executed the captured secret service agent, known by his alias Denis Allex, during an assault by 50 Special Forces troops. However al Shabaab’s media wing said the hostage survived.

Seventeen alleged militants were reportedly killed and eight civilians died, including a child and both his parents. Four civilians were killed when they were woken by helicopters landing. They were reportedly shot when they turned on flashlights. Survivors allegedly warned the militants of the advancing French force.

AFP gave the most detail regarding the civilian casualties: “‘Four civilians, including three from one family, are among the dead. They were all killed outside Bulomarer, where the French commandos landed before entering the city,’ resident Adan Derow said by telephone. The victims were a couple, their son and another man, other residents said. ‘We don’t know why those civilians were killed’ outside Bulomarer, where the raid took place, added another resident, Ali Moalim Hassan.

“‘Four other civilians were also caught in the crossfire and died in the town of Bulomarer” during a pitched battle between French commandos and Islamist fighters. The four included a woman, her child and a local market guard, according to residents.”

Al Shabaab claimed they had moved Allex to a new location before the attack although French and Somali government sources said he was killed by his captors during the attack. The militant commander Shiekh Ahmed was reportedly killed in the gunfight. One French commando was killed and another was wounded. The injured soldier was taken by al Shabaab who said he subsequently died of his wounds.

At least five helicopters ferried the commandos from the amphibious assault ship Mistral to Bulo Marer. The French force underestimated the resistance they would face, reported AFP. An anonymous Somali aid worker told the agency: “We were told there were about 40 of them against more than 100 heavily armed Shebab fighters. Their mission was impossible and not very professional.”

The US provided “limited technical support” to the French operation. US Air Force strike fighters entered Somali air space but did not fire their weapons. The operation was reportedly timed to coincide with a French air and ground offensive in Mali. Paris denied the two African operations were connected.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Unnamed man
Adult male Killed outside Bulomarer killed
Unnamed woman
Adult female Wife of above killed
Unnamed child
Child Child of above killed

Family members (2)

Unnamed woman
Adult female Killed in crossfire in Bulomarer killed
Child
Child killed

The victims were named as:

Unnamed man
Adult male Killed outside Bulomarer killed
Unnamed man
Adult male Local market guard killed in crossfire killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (2 children2 women3 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    French Military
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Denis Allex (Via al Shabaab propaganda video)

French Military Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    French Military
  • French Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (2 children2 women3 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    French Military
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM025-C

Incident date

March 1–31, 2013

Location

Kol, near Bula Xawa, Gedo, Somalia

Geolocation

3.928658, 41.874032 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two airstrikes by an unknown belligerent hit the nomadic settlement of Kol, near the city of Bulla-Xama, in southwestern Somalia’s Gedo region, killing a mother and her two children and injuring five others, a young man who fled the settlement following the strike told the Kenyan group Journalists for Justice.

According to a report, Black and White, the two strikes happened at around noon on an unspecified date in March 2013, “killing a mother and her two children and 13 goats. Three other women and two children were injured.”

Currently, no further details are available, including the presumed target of the strike.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Unnamed mother
Adult female killed
Unnamed 1
Child killed
Unnamed 2
Child killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that two airstrikes targeted the nomadic settlement of Kol, near the town Bula Xawa. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of the settlement of Kol. The coordinates of the town Bula Xawa are: 3.928658, 41.874032.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM026-C

Incident date

June 1–30, 2013

Location

جيليب, Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

Drones and helicopters reportedly attacked outside the town of Jilib, in Somalia’s Middle Juba region, killing three people and seriously wounding seven, according to locals interviewed by the Kenyan group Journalists for Justice.

Of the three people killed, two were women and one an elderly man, and of those wounded, three were reportedly children.

As the report noted, “Seven people, including three children, were seriously wounded, two women died and one elderly man after drones and helicopters attacked their village. An elder who was present at all the strikes said ‘We agree there was al Shabaab in our town but the militia have no known base. In their response the KDF [Kenya Defence Force] attack settlements where civilians are the victims.”

While Journalists for Justice inferred KDF responsibility, the use of drones and helicopters also indicated possible US involvement.

Currently, no further details are available, and the exact date of the event in June is unclear.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place near the town Jilib, for which the coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Extract from original claim of civilian harm from Journalists For Justice report

US Forces Assessment:

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

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM027

Incident date

October 5, 2013

Location

Baraawe, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.113632, 44.032311 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one and as many as seven al Shabaab militants were killed in a naval raid carried out by US forces in Barawe, Lower Shabelle, international media reported. There were no reports of civilian harm.

It was not at first clear who was the target of the raid. Reports varied from an unnamed Chechen; al Shabaab’s leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr (aka Ahmed Godane); or a Sudanese national. It later emerged Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir (aka Ikrima) was the target of the attack. He was listed in a Kenyan security services report as a leader of a plot to attack targets in Kenya in 2011 and 2012.

The assault itself was unsuccessful, Associated Press reported. Navy Seals attacked a house where foreign fighters lived at about 2.30am, according to Abu Mohamed, an al Shabaab fighter. But the troops reportedly met stiff resistance and unexpectedly found women and children were in the house. They retreated “after a 15-20 minute firefight”. The Toronto Star reported the US force had tipped al Shabaab off to the impending assault by jamming the internet minutes before attacking. Militant spokesperson Abdulaziz Abu Musab likened the raid to a failed French Special Forces assault in January 2013 which had left at least eight civilians dead..

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed US forces took part in the raid, while multiple anonymous former and serving US officials told Associated Press that US Navy Seals carried out the assault. It was also not clear how many people were killed. Senior Mogadishu police officer Colonel Abdikadir Mohamed said seven died: five militants and two from the attacking forces.

However, US officials said none of their own troops died. although al Shabaab tweeted two gruesome pictures purportedly of US soldiers they “executed”. A spokesperson for the militants said one militant died but the Daily Telegraph reported two senior al Shabaab fighters were killed and a third was injured. Somali sources told the paper that Abdi Qadar, a Swedish-Somali, and Awab al Uqba (aka Sheikh Abdirahim), a Sudanese, were killed. Al Uqba reportedly trained members of al Shabaab’s intelligence wing, Amniyat, which reportedly would have been central in the planning for the Westgate mall attack.

The attack coincided with a successful US Special Forces raid in Libya. Hours after the aborted Somali raid, soldiers from the US Army Delta Force snatched Nazih Abdul Hamed al Ruqai (aka Anas al Libi) from the streets of Tripoli. Al Ruqai was wanted for his part in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

In April 2014 it emerged that FBI agents had been working closely with JSOC in the years since the September 11 attacks. A Washington Post report said an agent from the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) was with the Seals when they stormed the beach in Barawe. An HRT agent was also reportedly with the Delta Force commandos when they snatched al Rauqai from the streets of Tripoli.

The incident occured at approximately 2:30 am local time.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the raid targeted a two-storey beach house in the coastal town of Baraawe (1.112554, 44.028921). Eyewitnesses said that the raid happened just before dawn prayers and that special forces were seen near the mosque, 200 meters from the sea. According to a map provided by the Guardian, the targeted house is located at these coordinates: 1.113632, 44.032311; and the mosque here: 1.113756, 44.032693.

  • Map of the targeted area in the town Baraawe

    Imagery:
    The Guardian

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–7

Sources (19) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

Centrail Maine/AP, October 5th, 2013:

"MOGADISHU, Somalia — U.S. Navy SEALs carried out a pre-dawn raid today on a coastal town in southern Somalia looking for a specific al-Qaida suspect linked to the Nairobi shopping mall attack, but did not get their target, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press.
A former U.S. military official also confirmed the raid by the SEALs, but no other details have been provided. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raid by name. The Pentagon declined comment."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–7

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM028

Incident date

October 28, 2013

Location

Dhaytubako, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.475148, 42.929292 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least two people, both reportedly al-Shabaab affiliated, were killed in a US drone strike on a vehicle in Jilib, Middle Juba region, international media reported. As of now, there are no reports about civilian harm.

Senior al Shabaab commander Ibrahim Ali Abdi (aka Anta Anta) was killed in the attack, according to Abu Mohamed, an al Shabaab militant, and Somali Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled. Ali Abdi was widely described as al Shabaab’s leading bomb maker. He was reportedly responsible for attacks on UN and diplomatic missions, and on a presidential palace in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

An unnamed official said Ali Abdi was “a person of interest we had been tracking”, while another said the US was ‘optimistic‘ he had died in the attack. Interior Minister Guled said Somali security services provided the US with intelligence for the attack. Abu Ali, Abdi’s ‘friend’, also died in the attack, Guled added.

Four witnesses reportedly said two men in a car died, the only reported casualties. Such precision suggested a drone carried out the attack. Anonymous US officials confirmed this, briefing that it was a US Army drone strike. Local resident Hassan Nur reportedly said:

“I heard a big crash and saw a drone disappearing far into the sky, at least two militants died…I witnessed a Suzuki car burning, many al Shabaab men came to the scene. I could see them carry the remains of two corpses. It was a heavy missile that the drone dropped. Many cars were driving ahead of me but the drone targeted this Suzuki.”

The two men were apparently travelling from Jilib, around 120km south of Mogadishu, to Barawe, an al Shabaab stronghold. Barawe was where US Special Forces failed to capture a senior al Shabaab militant in a daring raid more than three weeks earlier. A Somali intelligence source told the Associated Press the men were on their way to mediate a clan dispute.

Al Shabaab announced in March 2014 that it had executed a man they claimed had helped the US launch this strike. Mohamed Abdulle Gelle, 29, was one of three men executed by firing squad for apparently spying for the US and Somali governments.

In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM said it had conducted a strike on what it says was “an al-Shabaab named objective”, in the vicinity of Jilib on October 26th 2013 which is a close match for this strike, though two days prior to all other reports. This is therefore being treated as a single event.

The incident occured between 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm local time.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place on the road between Jilib and Baraawe, near the village Dhaytubako (or Dhey Tubaako), just east of the town Jilib. The coordinates of that area of the road are: 0.475148, 42.929292. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The village Dhaytubako near the road (marked in yellow) from Jilib towards Baraawe

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

CNN, October 28th, 2013:

"A U.S. military drone strike in southern Somalia killed two suspected Al Shabaab members, two U.S. officials confirm to CNN.
One of those killed was described by one of the officials as Anta, considered a top technical and explosives expert for the al Qaeda-affiliated group.
He was "a person of interest we had been tracking," the official said.
The other individual killed was not identified. However, it was not Mohamed Abdikadir Mohamed, said to be one of the most dangerous Al Shabaab commanders and known as Ikrima."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM029-C

Incident date

November 1–30, 2013

Location

جيليب, Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

Five children from a single family were killed in the town of Jilib, in Somalia’s Middle Juba region, when their house was razed by aerial bombardment from an unknown belligerent (possibly Kenya), according to residents interviewed by the group Journalists for Justice.

According to the report, “A third set of strikes took place a few weeks later in November 2013, according to the residents. Around 1pm jets razed five (5) homes. In one house five (5) children from the same family were killed, two interviewees said. At another open farming area on the edge of Jilib town, one herder was injured.”

As of now, no further details are available, and the exact date of the event in November is unclear. Based on its known presence in the general area, the presumed target of the attack was al Shabaab.

The incident occured at approximately 1:00 pm local time.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted five homes as well as a farming area on the edge of the town Jilib. The coordinates for the town of Jilib are: 0.494527, 42.777868. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (5 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (5 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM030-C

Incident date

January 26, 2014

Location

Haway, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.1682, 43.71413 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilian children were reported killed and their father severely injured when a US military drone strike attack seemingly directed at nine al Shabaab members struck Hawai, Lower Shabelle, international and local media reported. The strike was said to have targeted and failed to kill Ahmed Abdi Godane.

While there initially were no reports of civilian harm, two Somali herders launched a legal case more than a year later, in November 2015, claiming they had been caught up in this strike. The men brought a war crimes suit against the Dutch government, saying the Netherlands’ spies had provided the US with the intelligence to prosecute this strike. Both men said their cattle herds were largely wiped out in the strike.  Omar Mahamud Ali – named by De Volkskrant – said the attack had killed two of his daughters. He also lost a leg. The news organisation conducted a detailed interview:

“The blow is deafening and the earth is shaking. The second blow comes right after it. He didn’t even have time to look up. The drone’s Hellfire rockets hit the land cruisers, which set them on fire. The men from the wagons are later found mutilated beyond recognition, a witness tells press agency AP. He also tells that masked men of Al Shabaab come to the place that night in the dark, screaming that God is great, to scrape the remains out of the burnt-out wagons, put them in bags, and tear them away. International media also show that the intended target Ahmed Godane will not be hit that day. He is not in the affected pick-ups. However, another leader of Al Shabaab dies: Sahal Iskuduq.

Daddy’, screams Nimo. ‘Papá.’ Immediately there is the pain. It felt like a stone was going through my leg,’ says Omar. And something had happened to my head. I couldn’t see anything anymore.’

There is smoke everywhere, there are big clouds of sand everywhere. It is the last thing he sees, before it turns black. The hard blow has just been, as Nuur runs to the place where he sees black smoke and high flames. The place where his cattle stood. He sees off-road vehicles burning.

Suddenly he sees Omar lying there.

Less than two hours ago they were talking under the big tree. They are nomads of the same clan. And now Omar lies here unconscious on the goat path. In his head are shards, and his leg is open. There is blood everywhere. Further on there are dead sheep, goats and cows. Then he sees two girls between the carcasses. Omar’s daughters.

Saharo’s body is badly damaged. Nimo has been hit in her belly, but she is still alive. Around them, the people of their tribe come running to help. Everyone has heard the blow. But the men of Al Shabaab chase them away. They don’t want any prying eyes. The nomads have to remove their dead and wounded quickly.

Nure Saharo gently lifts up Omar’s favourite daughter. She is dead. For half an hour he carries the corpse, on his way to her mother, who doesn’t know anything yet. He runs. I was scared’, Nuur later says, ‘that there would be a second attack’.

With the girl in his arms he stands before her.

‘Sabr’, he says. Be strong.

Her mother screams when she sees her daughter. But there is not much time. She washes her daughter’s body. Together they look for a white cloth, which they wrap around the girl. In the cemetery they dig a hole, but they don’t hold a ceremony. The men of Al Shabaab disapprove of that. They don’t want to put branches on the grave, Nuur says. They call out ‘Get out’.

It is unclear how much time it takes, but he only opens his eyes again in a hospital bed in Merca. There he sees his wife and Nuur together at his bedside, he says. Around them it is white. He feels a stabbing pain in his head and leg. Everything is blurred. For a moment he thinks he is home.

What is this here?’, he asks. When did I come here?

His wife is crying. Sabr’, she says to him now. Be strong. It came from above, as an act of God. He has written this. That’s how it goes in this world.’ It is her way of warning him of the story that is to come.

Saharo is dead.

And so is Nimo.”

These civilian casualty claims were not mentioned in any of the initial reports, which said the strike hit a vehicle and killed an al Shabaab commander and others about 200 miles south of Mogadishu. It emerged after the attack that Godane was near the site of the strike but escaped alive. He was killed on September 1st the same year.

The slain al Shabaab commander was named as Sahal Iskudhuq (aka Ahmed Abdulkadir). Voice of America reported Iskudhuq was one of Godane’s senior aides. Locals told RBC Radio he was a “senior figure” in Amniyat, the militant group’s intelligence unit, adding that he was a Somali who had trained abroad and “fought along with senior foreign fighters in Somalia”.

Voice of America reported Iskudhuq and Godane may have been meeting before the attack and “Godane was supposed to travel in the car that night”. The agency also reported claims “al Shabaab has since detained several people in Barawe on suspicion of spying”.

Al Shabaab commander Abu Mohamed told Associated Press Iskudhuq “had previously been in charge of kidnappings of foreigners and ransom deals for the group but recently turned to working with its intelligence unit”. Voice of America reporter Harun Maruf tweeted further details about Iskudhuq:

An anonymous US official told the VOA news agency that the target was a senior member of al Shabaab. Another said the US had “been tracking this guy for years”. Unnamed US officials also confirmed it was a US strike to Associated Press and Reuters. Somali intelligence confirmed an attack on a “dangerous” militant and added that a driver had also been killed.

Dhanaan reported the highest number of militant fatalities as it cited an unnamed eye witness who said that nine al Shabaab members were killed while adding that their car  was left completely destroyed.

Al Shabaab reportedly abducted 17 people, including four al Shabaab members, in apparent retaliation for this strike. They told an elder they were searching for people working for the US.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Omar Mahamud Ali
Adult male Lost leg in action injured
Saharo
8 years old female killed
Nimo
9 years old female killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place on the plains around the village Haway. The coordinates for Haway are: 1.1682, 43.71413. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

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

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Omar Mahamud Ali (image montage by De Volkskrant)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

The Sand Diego Union-Triune/AP, January 27th, 2014:

"Two U.S. military officials confirmed that there was a missile strike against a senior al-Shabab leader in Somalia on Sunday. The officials wouldn't identify the target of the strike, and one of them said U.S. intelligence is still "assessing the effectiveness of the strike.""

Summary

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

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM031-C

Incident date

June 1–30, 2014

Location

Farigow, 3 km west of Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.496059, 42.749613 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between one and five civilians, including women and children, were killed as the Farigow leper colony near Jilib, Middle Jubba was struck by unknown warplanes, international media reported.

A woman living near the settlement told the Kenyan group Journalists for Justice that the colony was struck by jets by “mid 2014”, killing one person and injuring another three. “Farigow is a settlement of leprosy victims near Jilib. A woman living near there said it was attacked by jets in mid-2014. Three adults were injured and one killed, she reported to JFJ.”

Journalists for Justice said the attack was the same one described by the UN in its Somalia Monitoring Group report for 2014, which stated: “On 20 May 2014, for example, a village at Faragurow, 3 kilometers west of Jilib town in Middle Jubba, was attacked by fighter jets. Some reports claimed that among the dead were ‘2 women, 2 children and an old man.'”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a settlement of leprosy victims called Farigow or Faragurow, 3 kilometers west of the town Jilib. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of Farigow. The coordinates for the area 3 kilometers west of the town Jilib are: 0.496059, 42.749613.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 5
  • (1–2 children1–2 women0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 5
  • (1–2 children1–2 women0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]