Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Somali security officials and residents as claiming that over 100 al Shabaab fighters, including 20 commanders, were killed in US air strikes on the morning of April 15th.
The attack was denied by US Africa Command, which said the US military had not conducted the action. In an explicit statement to Xinhua it asserted: “The U.S. military did not conduct any kind of kinetic action in that area during the timeframe referenced. The most recent U.S. strike in Somalia was conducted in January.”
The alleged strikes were reported by Xinhua to have hit al Shabaab hideouts in Wargaduud and El Adde. There was some confusion around the date they hit – the news site said April 15th, but also included a quote from an unnamed security official saying the strikes took place on April 14th at 2am.
The security official said 20 commanders and around 85 other fighters were killed. A resident in El Adde was reported saying that the sound of explosions, believed to be air strikes, was heard shortly after midnight on April 14.
The US Africa Command press release said the US military “did not conduct any kind of kinetic action in that area during the timeframe referenced”.
The most recent US strike in Somalia took place in January 2017, the press release stated. It added that several social media sites and websites had falsely reported the air strikes, naming Xinhua specifically.
The incident occured at 2:00 am local time.
Sources (3) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the militants’ hideouts were targeted in the villages El Adde (Ceel Gadde, coordinates: 3.03594, 41.86737) and Wargaduud (Ceel Gaduud, coordinates: 2.995797, 41.950889). Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the exact location of the strike. The coordinates for the area between El Adde and Wargaduud are: 3.016763, 41.909448.