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

USSOM422

Incident date

February 23, 2024

Location

Farah-Adan and Jawle in Harardhere district, Mudug, Somalia

Airwars assessment

On the 23rd of February, 2024, the Somali National Army (SNA), supported by international partners, reportedly conducted a night-time military operation against Al-Shabaab in the Farah-Adan and Jawle areas of Harardhere district in Mudug region, central Somalia. It was reported that several Al-Shabaab leaders were killed in the attack, however the exact number of Al-Shabaab members killed has not been confirmed, and their identities remain unknown. To date, there have been no reports of civilian harm as a result of the operation.

The military operation was reported by Shabelle Media on the 24th of February. The report stated the location of the attack and also referred to comments from Maslah Macalin, the General Secretary of Harar Dheere district who “told the government media that members of Al-Shabaab, including leaders and militias, were killed in the operation last night, but he did not say how many”.

Additionally, on the 24th of February, a brief statement containing the approximate time and location of the operation (Farah-Adan) was posted online by MENA FN, quoting a report on the attack by the Kuwait News Agency. Halbeeg News posted a similar statement on February 24th which referred to information released by the Government of Somalia, and noted that the operation had been conducted in cooperation with “allied forces”.

While no sources directly implicated the US in the operation, the Somali government’s reference to “international partners” has in the past indicated US involvement.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM420

Incident date

February 24, 2024

Location

Jilib Marka, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

On the 24th of February, 2024, the Federal Government of Somalia released a statement claiming that attacks by Somali government forces and international partner forces, conducted early in the morning of the same day, had killed 30 Al-Shabaab militants at a meeting point in the village of Jilib Marka, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. However, multiple sources pointed to US involvement in the strikes, with one referring to it as a “drone strike”.

According to Halqabsi News, reporting on the 24th of February, the Somali government statement specified that the forces involved in the operation had “targeted a gathering of Al-Shabaab” and also “confiscated a military cache used in their operations” after actionable intelligence had been obtained. Halqabsi News reported that the operation had included an airstrike and that the attacks had been conducted before dawn.

A similar report on the attack from the Shabelle Media Network, also dated the 24th of February, contained the headline “Suspected U.S. airstrike kills at least 30 Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia”. The news site AxAdle (February 24th) more specifically classified the attack as a drone strike, stating that it was “the second strike by the U.S. Africa Command in collaboration with the Somali National Army”.

On the same day, Halbeeg News stated that the operation had led to the destruction of vehicles in the Al-Shabaab ‘base’ and further noted that “the government also claimed to have killed ring leaders”.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    30

Sources (5) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    30

Sources (5) [ collapse]