Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM052

Incident date

May 9–10, 2016

Location

Tortoroow, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.25045, 44.69117 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Kenyan and Somali forces, and their US advisors, carried out a raid on an al Shabaab checkpoint in Toratorow. The US carried out an airstrike during the operation – though initially denied doing so.

Media reports said helicopters were involved, indicating that both US air and ground forces were participating. However a US spokesperson denied US air assets were deployed, telling the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in an email: “In the early morning hours of May 10, Kenyan Defense Forces and Somali National Army forces conducted a joint raid on an al Shabaab taxation checkpoint in Toratorow, with US forces participating in an advise and assist role. This was not a US-led nor was it a US-unilateral operation – US personnel did not participate in any kinetic operations.”

Yet just weeks later, AFRICOM noted in a public press release that “U.S. forces supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and troop contributing nations to the African Union Mission in Somalia, provided defensive fires on four occasions in May, to protect U.S., SNA and AMISOM troops from imminent threats posed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab…. Other similar actions were undertaken on three other occasions in May, including one on May 9 and two on May 12.  These defensive fire missions all took place in remote locations in Somalia under al-Shabaab control, which are currently the focus of a Somali and AMISOM-led campaign to regain control of territory for the Somali Federal Government, and to disrupt al-Shabaab’s ability to freely plan and carry out attacks.”

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted an Al Shabaab checkpoint in the village Tortoroow. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of this checkpoint. The coordinates for the village Tortoroow are: 2.25045, 44.69117.

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

STUTTGART, Germany – U.S. forces supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and troop contributing nations to the African Union Mission in Somalia, provided defensive fires on four occasions in May, to protect U.S., SNA and AMISOM troops from imminent threats posed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The most recent event was on the evening of May 13, 2016, when the U.S. provided defensive fires in Southern Somalia against nine al-Shabaab combatants, killing three. The operation was conducted after it was assessed that the terrorists were planning and preparing to conduct an imminent attack against U.S. forces.

Other similar actions were undertaken on three other occasions in May, including one on May 9 and two on May 12. These defensive fire missions all took place in remote locations in Somalia under al-Shabaab control, which are currently the focus of a Somali and AMISOM-led campaign to regain control of territory for the Somali Federal Government, and to disrupt al-Shabaab’s ability to freely plan and carry out attacks.

U.S. forces are working closely with partner forces to combat al-Shabaab in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and continues to use its safe havens throughout Somalia to plot attacks against U.S. citizens and interests in East Africa, as well as against our international partners in the region.

The U.S. is committed to supporting Somali and regional forces as they combat al-Shabaab and work to bring stability to the region.

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

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

Somalia Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces, Somalia Military Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]