US forces were involved in a “self-defence strike operation” with Somali National Army (SNA) forces “against an al Shabaab troop concentration” in the country’s south, according to an Africa Command (AFRICOM) press release.
The statement did not include a casualty count, saying it “will continue to assess the results of the operation, and will provide additional information as appropriate”.
However a Somali government statement said “10 al Shabaab terrorists operating north of Kismayo were killed” in the US-SNA strike “against a formation of al Shabaab terrorists”.
“The terrorists attacked a Somali forces outpost and were repelled,” the statement added. A Somali military source told Voice of America (VoA) US helicopters ferried Somali special forces to site of the operation and then fired on the militants during an ensuing battle.
“Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security,” AFRICOM said.
Ahmed Abdullahi Issa, deputy commander of Somalia’s national security agency, told VoA the operation was carried out because militants were planning to attack a Somali base.
“They were about 100 militias who were gathering in a jungle area, and we targeted them,” he said. “We foiled their attack. We killed 13 and wounded 10 others.”
Al Shabaab’s Radio Andalus said the terrorist group attacked an SNA base in Jubba region at midnight. The fighting lasted several hours – the group claimed it pushed Somali forces out of their defensive position and back to a larger base where US trainers were based.
The operation happened at approximately 1830 Eastern Daylight Time on July 4, which is 0130 local time (2230 GMT).
The incident occured at 1:30 am local time.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a formation of Al Shabaab militants who were ‘gathering in a jungle area’ near the town Kismayo in an area called Luglaaw. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike. The coordinates for the village Luglaaw are: -0.20284, 42.602901.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
"On July 4, at approximately 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, working from actionable intelligence, the Department of Defense conducted a successful collective self-defense strike operation against an al-Shabaab troop concentration. The operation occurred approximately 300 miles southwest of Mogadishu."