The US reported two days after the event that it had conducted two “self-defence strikes” on September 5th against al Shabaab, killing four militants.
According to an AFRICOM press release, the strikes hit near Tortoroow and were conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia after a Somali-led counter-terrorism operation came under attack.
Garowe Online offered a more detailed report based on its local sources: ” A Somali commando unit backed by US special forces have launched anti terror raid on Al Shabaab stronghold in Lower Shabelle region on Sunday night, killing senior militant commanders, Garowe Online reports. A local resident revealed to GO, that the allied forces have encountered a heavy resistance, which led to hours-long gunfight around the rebel-held Toratorow town, 120 km west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.
“Witnesses told GO that U.S. military used helicopters in the raid and dropped Somalia’s newly US-trained Danab soldiers on the outskirts of the town to hunt for the militants on foot. Sources confirmed the death of three high-ranking Al Shabaab commanders in the airstrike targeted on suspected hideouts of Al Shabaab leaders’ hideouts.”
Voice of America also reported on the incident – though referred only to the AFRICOM statement, noting that “‘During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation, a large group of armed al-Shabab fighters attacked the force, threatening the safety and security of the forces in the area,’ said Captain Jennifer Dyrcz, a U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman.”
Al Shabaab itself denied any casualties in the attack, according to VOA reporter Harun Maruf.
Airwars is treating these as separate events for this date. We have assigned three deaths to this incident only, to avoid double counting.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (3) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village of Tortoroow, for which the generic coordinates are: 2.25045, 44.69117. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
"On September 5, 2016, in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted two (2) self-defense strikes against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-associated terrorist group, near Tortoroow, Somalia.
During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation, a large group of armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked the force, threatening the safety and security of the forces in the area. In response, the U.S. conducted two (2) self-defense strikes to neutralize the threat, killing four (4) al-Shabaab militants."