On November 17th 2017, US Africa Command sent the Bureau of Investigative Journalism a list of previously unreported strikes, which included this one.
An AFRICOM spokesperson explained that their goal “is to be as transparent as possible while taking into account operational security, force protection and diplomatic sensitivities.” It therefore did not proactively release information about all of its strikes. It was limited to confirming or denying US operations took place when asked directly for those strikes that were not cleared to be reported in press releases.
The spokesperson would not say specifically where the attacks hit, telling the Bureau the best they could say was all the unreported strikes were conducted in southern Somalia, “for operational security reasons”.
However, US investigative journalist Amanda Sperber was informed by AFRICOM on December 12th 2018 that this strike took place in the vicinity of Gaduud. The assumed target was al Shabaab,
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident only mention that the strike occurred in Southern Somalia, near the town of Gaduud, for which the generic coordinates are: -0.0741815, 42.5719168. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Via email from Africom to BIJ, November 17th, 2017:
"The best I can do on the strikes that were not on your list, for operational security reasons, is say they were all conducted in southern Somalia."
Via email from AFRICOM to Amanda Sperber, December 12th 2018:
"The strike on 20 July 2017 was in the vicinity of Gaduud. "