On November 17th, US Africa Command sent the Bureau of Investigative Journalism a list of previously unreported actions, which included this strike.
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 a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM confirmed it had struck what it says was an al Shabaab leader (“an al-Shabaab named objective”), in the vicinity of Tortoroow on July 29th 2017.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike occurred in Southern Somalia, in the vicinity of the village of 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:
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."
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 leader ("an al-Shabaab named objective"), in the vicinity of Tortoroow on July 29th 2017.