A US airstrike in the Lower Shabelle region targeting al Shabaab insurgents killed one member of the terror group, according to AFRICOM. The victim may have been the leader of the group’s intelligence wing, Andullahi Haji Daud. There are currently no known associated reports of civilian harm.
The strike hit in the south of the country and was first reported on the Twitter account HarunMaruf late on July 2nd.
AFRICOM confirmed it carried out the attack on July 3rd, telling the Bureau of Investigative Journalism via email: “On July 2, at approximately 0730 Eastern Daylight Time [1430 Somalia time], US forces conducted a kinetic strike operation against al Shabaab, an al Qaeda associated terrorist group.”
There was no immediate word on casualties – including civilian harm – from AFRICOM, which said: “We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate.”
However anonymous US defence sources told CNN that Ahmed Osoble was believed to have been killed. Osoble was described as a “regional commander” who was responsible for gathering intelligence on US forces in Somalia.
Possible airstrike has been reported on suspected Shabab militants in Kunyo Barrow town late Sunday, a source says vehicles were targeted.
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) July 2, 2017
On July 20th, Africom told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism it had “assessed the results of the July 2 strike and determined one al Shabaab terrorist was killed.”
Somali intelligence officials told local media that US drones had targeted an al Shabaab convoy travelling between Kunya Barow and Barawe on the night of July 2nd. There were five al Shabaab commanders in the convoy, according to the unnamed Somali official. Among them was Andullahi Haji Daud, commander of al Shabaab’s Amniyat – its intelligence wing.
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM confirmed it had struck what it says was “an al-Shabaab named objective”, in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia on July 2nd.
The incident occured at 2:30 pm local time.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a convoy between the towns Kunya Barrow and Barawe, near Kunya Barrow. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike. The coordinates for Kunya Barrow are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
"On July 2, at approximately 7:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, U.S. forces conducted a kinetic strike operation against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda associated terrorist group. We are currently assessing the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate. U.S. forces remain committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, the Somali National Army and our AMISOM partners in defeating al-Shabaab and establishing a safe and secure environment in Somalia."