Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM080

Incident date

July 21, 2017

Location

Tortoroow, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.25045, 44.69117 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

On November 17th, US Africa Command sent the Bureau of Investigative Journalism a list of previously unreported strikes, which included this one. No casualties were reported.

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 in December 2018, AFRICOM informed a US investigative journalist that this event “was in the vicinity of Tortoroow.”

At the time, Xinhua news agency had reported that “Somalia National Army (SNA)-backed by the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) on Friday destroyed an Al-Shabaab compound in southern Somalia.

“Somali National Army forces conducted an operation today which resulted in the destruction of a known Al-Shabaab compound around Tortoroow,” said AMISOM. The AU mission said the Somali forces were able to successfully reduce the ability of the terrorists to conduct senseless acts of violence against the people.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike occurred in Southern Somalia, in the vicinity of the village Tortoroow, for which the coordinates are: 2.25045, 44.69117. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

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 21 July 2017 was in the vicinity of Tortoroow.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (2) [ collapse]