Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM065

Incident date

September 26, 2016

Location

Caba, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.232554, 41.950809 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The US reported in a press release published on September 27th that it had conducted a “self-defence strike” in Caba near Kismayo the previous day, killing four al Shabaab fighters .

The press release said that a group of armed al Shabaab fighters attacked the Somali force and their US advisors. The Somali forces returned fire, but could not stop the attack. The US said that they conducted the strike in response:

“On September 26, in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted a self-defense strike against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-associated terrorist group, in Caba, near Kismayo, Somalia.

During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation, a group of armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked, threatening the safety and security of the Somali force and their U.S. advisors. Somali forces returned fire in self-defense, killing several militants.  However, enemy fighters continued to attack the Somali force. In response, the U.S. conducted a self-defense strike to neutralize the threat, killing four (4) enemy fighters.”

Garowe Online placed the attack “about 45km west of Kismayo” in Kanjaron district, and said five al Shabaab fighers were killed and several commanders captured.

The Long War Journal questioned whether the strike was in fact defensive, noting that “AFRICOM’s latest so-called self-defense strike against Shabaab highlights the difference between the rhetoric and the reality of the Obama administration and the US military’s deployment of forces against jihadist groups overseas. The administration and the military often insist that US forces are deployed in countries such as Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen in a purely “advise and assist” role and are not engaging in combat operations. And yet, in the case of the Somali raid that targeted Shabaab training camps, US forces clearly are operating in a combat environment — if you raid an al Qaeda camp, you should expect to be engaged in direct fighting. In this instance, clearly AFRICOM was prepared for forces to engage in battle, as US air assets were on station.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–5

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Caba, near Kismayo, for which the coordinates are: -0.232554, 41.950809. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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

"On September 26, in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted a self-defense strike against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-associated terrorist group, in Caba, near Kismayo, Somalia.

During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation, a group of armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked, threatening the safety and security of the Somali force and their U.S. advisors. Somali forces returned fire in self-defense, killing several militants. However, enemy fighters continued to attack the Somali force. In response, the U.S. conducted a self-defense strike to neutralize the threat, killing four (4) enemy fighters."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–5

Sources (3) [ collapse]