Up to 16 al Shabaab fighters died in an operation reportedly carried out by Somali forces with US support, multiple sources said. The US claimed at the time that at the time that Somali forces alone were responsible for the kinetic actions. However, a FOIA response obtained in 2019 confirmed that the US had in fact carried out a strike in the vicinity on an “al Shabaab named objective”. There are currently no reports of civilian harm associated with this incident.
Four commanders were among up to 16 reported dead, including a senior figure, Mohamed Mohamud Ali, who was said to have been one of several fighters responsible for the killing of 148 students in their dormitories at Garissa University in eastern Kenya on August 2nd 2015.
Initial reports varied but several suggested US forces conducted the attack. Others said the US had assisted African troops with helicopters. US spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: “US forces supported this Somali-led operation in an advise and assist role”.
According to Capital FM, “Sixteen armed men, four of them senior commanders including Mohamed Mohamud Ali known as Dulyadin… were killed by the Somali commandos and the special forces of the Jubaland,” [said] Abdirashid Janan, minister of state security for Jubaland, an autonomous region in southern Somalia.”
Somali officials first claimed that al Shabaab member Mohammed Dulyadeen was killed in the attack. The US was more circumspect. “We have received initial reports of a ground operation conducted in southern Somalia last night by the Somali National Army,” Baldanza told the Bureau. “The operation may have resulted in the death of al Shabaab member Mohammed Dulyadeen, also known as ‘Mohammed Kuno’ and ‘Kuno Gamadere. We are working with Somali officials to assess the results of the operation and will provide further details when appropriate.”
US Africa Command were more forthright on June 8th 2016, reporting “further assessment by US forces also indicates that Dulyadeen was killed in the operation.” That AFRICOM press release makes no mention of a US strike but says “a Somali National Army unit led a ground operation near Gaduud, Somalia”.
However, in a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM reported it had struck what it says was an “al Shabaab named objective”, in the Gaduud area of Somalia.
Al Shabaab itself confirmed Dulyadeen had died on June 21st 2016. The group said: “We console ourselves and our nation for the martyrdom of the Muslim knight commander Sheik Mohamed Mohamud Ali (Dulyadin). May Allah accept him and lift him to paradise.”
The attack reportedly took place in Farwamo village, 30km north of the port of Kismayo.
The incident occured during the night.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted the village Farwamo near Bulogudud, 30 kilometres north of the city Kismayo. A subsequent FOIA response pointed to the area around the village Gaduud (1.478266, 42.496045). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of the village Farwamo. The coordinates for Bulogudud are: 1.47922, 42.528713.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
An AFRICOM press release on June 8th stated:
STUTTGART, Germany -- U.S. Africa Command has completed assessment of two recent actions against al-Shabaab targets in Somalia.
On May 27, 2016 U.S. forces carried out an airstrike in south-central Somalia targeting Abdullahi Haji Da'ud a senior military commander for al-Shabaab. The final assessment of that operation concludes that Da’ud was struck and killed in the airstrike.
On May 31, a Somali National Army unit led a ground operation near Gaduud, Somalia, with the intent to capture extremists associated with al-Shabaab. An initial assessment of that operation by Somali authorities indicated that it resulted in the death of al-Shabaab member Mohammed Dulyadeen, also known as "Mohammed Kuno” and “Kuno Gamadere." Further assessment by U.S. forces also indicates that Dulyadeen was killed in the operation.
We are confident that the removal from the terrorist network of these two experienced al-Shabaab leaders will disrupt near-term attack planning, potentially saving many innocent lives.
U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army, and our African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) partners in defeating al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia.
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM reported it had struck what it says was an "al Shabaab named objective", in the Gaduud, Somali.
Somalia Military Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
“Sixteen armed men, four of them senior commanders including Mohamed Mohamud Ali known as Dulyadin… were killed by the Somali commandos and the special forces of the Jubaland,” Abdirashid Janan, minister of state security for Jubaland, an autonomous region in southern Somalia.