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

USSOM024

Incident date

August 23, 2012

Location

Mountains near Qandala, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

11.361876, 49.676368 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Air strikes ‘reportedly from international forces’ targeted ‘a mountainous area near town of Qandala’ according to Garowe Online. However All Africa said that “Air strikes reportedly from a US military aircraft or naval ship on the coastal town of Qandala caused damage to many buildings in the town.”

All Africa and Garowe Online said it was not clear if aircraft or ships from “international forces” carried out the strike. Foreign warships had reportedly been patrolling the Gulf of Aden waters around Qandala for days.

Puntland officials told Garowe Online al Shabaab militants were ‘trying to set up new area of operations in mountains east of Bossaso’, which are near Qandala.

There were no known reports of civilian harm.

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
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a mountainous area near Qandala and east of Bosasso, for which the coordinates are: 11.361876, 49.676368. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Mountainous area between Bosasso and Qandala

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown 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
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM023-C

Incident date

April 17, 2012

Location

Gumah, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.88443, 51.11405 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

“Unknown military jets fired several missiles” at a suspected Somali pirate base in the northern autonomous region of Puntland a coastguard official told AFP. The target was the village of Gumah, described as being between Hafun and Bargal towns and some 220 kilometres (140 miles) east of Bossaso, the main port of Somalia’s breakaway Puntland state.

At least two civilians were reported injured, whom RBC Radio described as fishermen.

The air strike came near midnight and was apparently unprecedented as it targeted pirates, not al Shabaab. Muse Jama, an elder, told AFP that the two aircraft that attacked his village “came from the sea.”

Which nation the aircraft belong to is unknown. The European Union’s anti-piracy operation had been authorised to launch strikes on Somali coastal territory. But a spokesperson told AFP the EU was “not involved whatsoever” in the strike and refused to comment on who was. Both NATO and the US were also conducting anti-piracy operations at the time, though neither was known to have deployed airstrikes.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, EU Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in a coastal village called Gumah, 220 kilometres east of the port city Bosaso in Puntland. This likely refers to a village that also goes by the name Gumbax, for which the coordinates are: 10.88443, 51.11405. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The coastal village Gumbax, 220 kilometres east of Bosaso (220 km radius marked in red)

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

EU Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, EU Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM022-C

Incident date

February 24, 2012

Location

K60, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.91405, 44.90641 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One civilian man was possibly killed as a US drone struck and killed up to seven members of al-Shabaab at Kilometre 60 or K60, in Lower Shabelle, 60km south west of Mogadishu on the road to Marka/ Mercer, international media reported. The action came hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had told a conference on Somalia in London that airstrikes against al Shabaab “would not be a good idea.”

A local civilian told Reuters that fighter jets roared overhead before a loud blast ripped through the night air. Hassan, a local resident said: “First we saw a huge flash and then a big explosion shook the ground… Later we saw a huge crater and nearby trees were burned.” Al Shabaab confirmed the strike but “said it was not clear if the dead were its fighters or civilians.”

Initially, no civilian harm was reported. But more than a year after the attack German journalists identified a civilian killed in the event. Mohammed Abdullahi, 50, had taken his animals to pasture when the drones struck, according to a joint investigation by newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and Germany’s national broadcaster NDR. The investigation was based on testimonies by the victim’s son, a 34-year-old goat herder.

As Süddeutsche wrote (translation): “Mohamed Abdullahi, at the age of fifty, is one of the elders of his clan. He is a highly respected man: people come to him when there is conflict – the best grass or water, the essentials of nomadic life. He says who is right and who has to give in, and his award is valid. There is no other law here in the bush. On this day he has to go far until he finds fresh grass for his camels, almost an hour. Maxamed Abdullahi is a tall, sinewy man with short hair and a narrow beard. He wears the long robe of the nomads and cheap black sandals “made in China”. He protects himself from the sun with a turban or hat, while camel hats he usually wraps his bedding around his head. Then he has something to take to nap…

“When Maxamed Abdullahi is not back the next morning, Salman and his siblings set out to find him. On the way they learn of a bomb attack, but they still do not bring this message in connection with the missing father. Then they meet a woman who brings her camel milk to the city to sell. She tells us that the body of a civilian lies at the point of attack. Their own dead always bring the al-Shabaab people away, they are buried as martyrs solemnly. Civilians leave them lying, often for days.

Salman Abdullahi and his clan follow the directions of the milk saleswoman, and encounter the carcasses of a few dead camels, and on the torn corpse of a man at the point of attack: The upper body lies like a thrown on a tree, the rest underneath. Only the face is reasonably intact. Salman Abdullahi recognizes his father immediately. Staring with shock and unable to touch his father’s body, he watches as others from his clan pick up the body parts, place them in a cart, cover them up, and bring them home. The al-Shabaab militia have banned them for a proper funeral, so they hastily pick up a grave and bury Maxamed Abdullahi. Killed by the Americans in an attack from Germany, left calm by the militants of the Al-Shabaab militia.

Maxamed Abdullahi does not leave his son a single picture. He never owned a camera, and he has never been photographed. Photos bring bad luck, as many Somalis think. And yet, there is a digital memory: On the video recordings of the on-board camera shortly before the impact of the Hellfire rocket, a tall, narrow nomad to be seen, wrapped in traditional Somali robes, the bedding wrapped around the head, black cheap sandals to the feet. Taken a moment before his death. It is the only portrait that will remain of Maxamed Abdullahi, stored in the digital archive of the US military, or perhaps on a now-sorted computer, at least somewhere in Ramstein. In Germany.

If the directional microphone of the drone was employed, it can even be heard on these recordings, what happened down there. The explosion, screams of pain, the silence afterwards. What ever. If the co-pilot has switched to thermal imager, the crew was able to watch how the temperatures changed after the attack. How the bodies of people became colder and colder.”

An American official in Washington confirmed the attack was carried out by a United States drone. A second official said an “international” member of al Shabaab was the target of the strike, though he said a white Kenyan reported killed in the attack was not the target.

A range of sources reported that the strike had killed between four and seven al Shabaab militants. Al Shabaab identified one of the dead as Moroccan Sheikh Abu Ibrahim. According to Reuters: ‘A very senior Egyptian was killed. Three Kenyans and a Somali also died.’ AFP reported that the strike targeted an al Qaeda commander in his vehicle, destroying the car and killing him.

Among those reported killed was a militant initially named only as Sakr and described as ‘the Egyptian.’  The Bureau of Investigative Journalism later revealed his full name was London-born Mohamed al Sakr, the best friend of and former deputy of Bilal al-Berjawi (himself killed on January 22nd 2012.) A February 2013 investigation by the Bureau, published by the Independent, uncovered that Sakr had – like al Berjawi – had his British citizenship stripped by the UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May prior to his assassination. He was one of more than 20 people to lose their British citizenship on the orders of successive Home Secretary. The practice has been compared to “medieval exile” by leading human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

Sakr’s parents later said they believed the loss of his UK citizenship had left their son vulnerable to attack by the US. “I’ll never stop blaming the British government for what they did to my son. They broke my family’s back,” his father told the Bureau.

The strike coordinates were reportedly provided by two al Shabaab militants Ishaq Omar Hassan, 22, and Yasin Osman Ahmed, 23. The two were also accused of providing targeting information for the CIA to kill Bilal al Berjawi, and were executed in July 2012 along with 33-year-old Mukhtar Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed – accused of spying for Britain’s MI6. Alabama-born jihadist and US citizen Omar Hammami, also known as Abu Mansour al-Amriki, revealed a rift within Al Shabaab when he released a video in which he declared that his life was at risk as a result of an internal search for moles. “I record this message today because I feel that my life may be endangered by Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahideen due to some differences that occurred between us regarding matters of the sharia and matters of strategy.” Al Shabaab tweeted that al-Amriki “was not endangered”.

Yet reports emerged the following day that the al Qaeda-linked group had arrested al-Amriki and taken him into custody. It was later claimed that Hammami was executed by Al Shabaab on April 5th 2012.

In August 2017, a German court refused to hear a case relating to the potential unlawful killing of farmer Abdullahi in a US strike from German soil. As Süddeutsche Zeitung noted (translation): “Abdullahi’s lawyers are not satisfied with this answer. The files show that ‘none of the prosecutors has conducted an effective investigation into this case,’ says Natalie von Wistinghausen, who Abdullahi and Eberhard Kempf represent.”

Süddeutsche later added: “The death of the Somali camel herder was ‘at best indirectly’ caused by a – possible – omission of the Federal Republic of Germany, the court ruled. This meant: It may be that Germany has a little something to do with it. Because US Air Base Ramstein is clearly the data hub for drone missions in Africa. But just not enough, that the son of the victim should therefore be checked by a German court, how much Germany really has to do with it. The son has no legal standing, was the conclusion of the Cologne court.”

The incident occured at approximately 3:00 am local time.

  • Mohammed Abdullahi 50 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–7

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Mohamed al Sakr as a young man (Image courtesy of family, all rights reserved.)
  • Mohamed Sakr as a young man (Image courtesy of family)
  • Gamal Sakr, father of Mohamed: "I’ll never stop blaming the British government for what they did to my son." (Image courtesy of Susannah Ireland/ The Independent)
  • The Home Office letter sent to al Sakr's parents, depriving him of his UK citizenship weeks before the US assassinated him.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in an area called K60, on the road between Afgoye and Marka, south of Mogadishu. The coordinates for this area are: 1.91405, 44.90641. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The area called K60 on the road between Afgoye and Marka (marked in red), south of Mogadishu

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

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

Reuters, February 24th, 2012:

"A missile strike killed four foreign Islamist militants south of Somalia's capital on Friday, an intelligence official said, a day after the country's prime minister called for foreign air strikes against the al Shabaab rebel group.
Residents reported hearing a large explosion which targeted a car in the early hours of the morning in an area known as 'Kilometre 60', between Mogadishu and the port town of Marka in the insurgent-controlled Lower Shabelle region.
"A very senior Egyptian was killed. Three Kenyans and a Somali also died," a senior intelligence officer who declined to be named told Reuters."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–7

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM020

Incident date

January 21, 2012

Location

Elasha Biyaha, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.083813, 45.205288 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A British al Shabaab fighter, Bilal al-Berjawi, was killed by a US drone strike in or near the town of Elasha Biyaha, 15km south of Mogadishu, local and international media reported. There were no reports of civilian harm.

Three missiles fired from a drone operated by JSOC killed British-Lebanese militant Bilal al-Berjawi, also known as Abu Hafsa. The US intelligence services and military had had him under surveillance for days according to the Associated Press. Al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage later said that “‘around 1400, a US drone targeted our mujahideen. One foreigner, a Lebanese with a British passport, died.” A witness who gave his name as Osman told the New York Times there were two strikes: “One hit a car, which I believe held explosives.”

The strike was also confirmed to AP by a US official in Washington.

Berjawi was known to have been injured in US airstrikes in June 2011 and was suspected to have sought medical assistance in Nairobi at that time.

The Guardian reported that Berjawi’s wife had given birth to a child in a London hospital a few hours before the attack, prompting suspicions that his location had been pinpointed through a telephone conversation between the couple. The killing caused a rift within militant circles, reports suggested, with al-Shabaab calling an emergency meeting after the drone strike amid accusations that some leaders “may be involved in this latest killing to pursue their own goals.”

In February 2013 an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and published by The Independent revealed that al Berjawi had had his British citizenship stripped by the UK’s then Home Secretary. A British-Lebanese citizen who came to the UK as a baby and grew up in London, Berjawi left for Somalia in 2009 with his close friend British-born Mohamed Sakr, himself killed by a US drone in February 2012. The friends were among dozens of people to lose their British citizenship at the order of successive Home Secretaries.

In July 2012, al Shabaab executed three militants whom they accused of spying for the CIA and MI6. Ishaq Omar Hassan, 22, and Yasin Osman Ahmed, 23, were accused of working for the Americans. Al Shabaab official Sheikh Mohamed Abu Abdallah said they “had fixed a device on Bilal el Berjawi’s car and then he was killed by a plane in Elasha six months ago.” Abu Abdallah also alleged that 33-year-old Mukhtar Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed had been working for British intelligence.

In 2015, investigative reporter Ryan Gallagher revealed in The Intercept that leaked US intelligence documents showed that Berjawi had been labelled Objective Peckham prior to his targeted assassination.

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Archived Somalia Report story via Wayback
  • Somalia Report on rifts within militant circles following the death of Berjawi (via Wayback)
  • Screengrab from propaganda video of al-Berjawi training in Somalia
  • In 2015 The Intercept obtained secret documents detailing the US killing of al-Berjawi

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that two strikes occurred near the town of Elasha Biyaha, near Mogadishu and Afgooye. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike. Maps show two education institutes called Elasha Biyaha between Mogadishu and Afgooye, for which the coordinates are: 2.083813, 45.205288.

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, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM021-C

Incident date

January 21, 2012

Location

Kismayo, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.355651, 42.545703 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In this single-source claim, six people were allegedly killed as an airstrike carried out by US or Kenyan forces, struck near the al Shabaab stronghold of Kismayo, Sheikh Mohamud Abdi, a senior al-Shabaab commander, claimed to Reuters.

It is not known whether the strike was by US or Kenyan forces. Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October amid concerns that Somalia’s 21-year-old civil war was spilling over the countries’ border.

The combatant status of the claimed six victims is unknown. The original source for this allegation is also not presently recoverable.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place near the city of Kismayo, for which the coordinates are: -0.355651, 42.545703. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM019

Incident date

November 14, 2011

Location

Afgooye, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.14158, 45.118698 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two al Shabaab leaders were possibly killed in an alleged US or French-launched air or drone strike in Afgoye, Lower Shabelle, local and international media reported. No sources reported civilian harm.

Missiles were fired at a training camp in Afgoye, Lower Shabelle, according to al Shabaab. An initial report from the Suna Times stated: “US drone attack killed leaders Ahmed Godane and Hassan Dahir Aweys.”

However, these claims were later disputed. Michael Logan, then editor of Somalia Report, later tweeted “Looks like the deaths of al-Shabaab leaders were greatly exaggerated by the TFG, as usual.” A junior al Shabaab member allegedly told Somalia Report that the group suffered “some casualties.”

Associated Press debated who was responsible for the alleged strikes, with both French and US officials publicly suggesting the other nation may have carried out the attacks.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2–4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Original Suna Times report via Wayback
  • Archived Somalia Report via Wayback

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the town of Afgooye, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.14158, 45.118698. Strike likely occurred along the road between the two Agoi of Afgooye towns, as Laantbuur is listed where the strike hit. Geolocated to Afgooye as the closest major city. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2–4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM018

Incident date

October 23, 2011

Location

Kismayo, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.355651, 42.545703 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

At least one al Shabaab militant was reportedly killed as Shabaab positions in Kismayo, Jubaland, were subject to aerial shelling, international and local media reported. There was disagreement about whether the US, France or Kenya were to blame

A local resident told Reuters: “A jet bombarded an al Shabaab base near the port. It dropped a huge shell, flew past, came and then dropped another shell…The whole town shook. We’ve never heard anything like it. Everyone ran away.”

The strikes in Kismayo were said to have killed at least one al Shabaab militan, according to some sources including Bloomberg. Meanwhile the terror group denied any casualties. “There were no casualties,” an al Shabaab source in southern Somalia told Reuters. “We fired at the plane after the second bombardment and it has not come back.” No civilians were reportedly harmed.

Kenyan military spokesperson Major Emanuel Chirchir said the strike was in support of a Kenyan Defence Force advance in southern Somalia, while attributing blame to either the US or France.  The spokesperson told the New York Times “everybody is in theatre… they are complementary.” Kenya also said in a statement cited by the New York Times that the French Navy had also shelled rebel positions from the sea.

Chirchir would not however identify who had carried out the airstrikes, while noting that: “Everyone knows who is fighting the terrorists, they are the same partners who are always fighting al Qaeda.”

Two senior American officials in Washington told the New York Times that the US had not carried out the attacks. The French also denied they carried out the strikes or were responsible for a naval bombardment in the preceding days.

Finally, several sources, including Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Farah Dahir, a Somali army spokesperson, said Kenyan jets were responsible for the attack that killed an al Shabaab commander. Al Shabaab also said a Kenyan jet launched the strike.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, French Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a base near the Kismayo seaport. The generic coordinates for the city of Kismayo are: -0.355651, 42.545703. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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

French Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    French Armed Forces
  • French Armed 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, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, French Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM017-C

Incident date

October 22, 2011

Location

Afmadow, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.514539, 42.074264 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

In this single-source claim, Somalia Report reported that at least 11 civilians died and more than 20 others were wounded after a possible US drone attacked Afmadow town in Lower Juba region.

An eye witness, Mohamud Abdirahman, told Somalia Report: “I have seen 11 bodies and we believe that it was a US airstrike.”

Locals said they had sighted what they believed to be US drones loitering above the area in the previous few days. Al Shabaab had reportedloy been the target of the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Archived claim via Wayback

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the alleged strike took place in Afmadoow, for which the coordinates are: 0.514539, 42.074264. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]