AFRICOM denied conducting any recent airstrikes in Somalia, a VOA journalist reported – following recent claims of US activities in the Lower Juba region.
According to SomNews, US forces had conducted a helicopter assault on the village of Welmarow on the evening of June 3rd: “Helicopters thought to be from United States military have launched a raid against Al Shabaab militants at a camp in Southern Somalia on Saturday night, residents said. The helicopters dropped foreign forces in Welmarow where Al -Shabaab has a base. The village is located about 65km away from Jilib district in Middle Juba region.
The America troops is said to have briefly engaged with militants. The sides have unchanged heavy and small weaponry during the confrontation. There was no immediate confirmation of any casualties.”
Horn Afrik, which also reported an attack on the village, said it had instead come from unidentified warplanes: “Unidentified warplanes hit Al-Shabab training base in Welmarow village, about 68KM from Jilib town in southern Somalia, locals said on Saturday Night. According to a resident in Jilib, who sought anonymity due to safety concerns, several loud explosions were heard at the base, where the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group used as recruiting and training facility.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
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Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted an Al Shabaab military base in or near the village Welmarow, according to media located around 65 kilometers away from the town Jilib. The coordinates for Jilib are: 0.494527, 42.777868. There is a village called Welmarow near Jilib at these coordinates: 0.57652, 42.40677. This is closer to Jilib, at a distance of 42 kilometers, but there doesn’t seem to be any other settlement with the same name, therefore we have geolocated this incident to this location. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.