The US carried out two “kinetic” strikes against al Shabaab members in the Banadir region of southern Somalia on August 10th, US Africa Command announced. There were no known associated public reports of civilian harm. As AFRICOM itself has treated these as distinct events, we have separated them here.
A press release from the Somali government said a high-level al Shabaab leader had been killed. It said President Mohamed Farmajo had authorised a coordinated operation with ‘international partners’ near Shashweyne, on the outskirts of Banadir region, resulting in the death.
“This individual was part of an al-Shabaab terrorist network responsible for planning and executing several bombings and assassinations in Mogadishu that have killed innocent Somali citizens,” it said.
The US did not confirm any casualties, including any civilians harmed, but said it was still assessing the operation and would release additional details when appropriate. There are no other reports of civilian casualties.
AFRICOM said the strike was carried out under authorities approved by US President Donald Trump in March 2017. These declared parts of Somalia to be an “area of active hostilities” for 180 days, exempting US commanders from certain restraints.
This was the third known US strike in under two weeks. At the end of July, a strike killed Ali Jabal, a high-level al Shabaab commander believed to be behind attacks in Mogadishu and responsible for leading al-Shabaab forces operating there and in Banadiir region. Mogadishu is in Banadir region.
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM again confirmed it had struck what it says was an “AS Leader”, in the vicinity of Shashweyne, Banadir region, Somalia. Separately AFRICOM said it had also struck al Shabaab fighters that day, again in the vicinity of Shashweyne.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village or town of Shashweyne in the Banadir region. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of Shashweyne. However, the generic coordinates for the Banadir region are: 2.099721, 45.35544.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
On August 10, the Department of Defense conducted two kinetic strikes against al-Shabaab militants. The operation occurred near the Banadiir region in southern Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and is dedicated to providing safe haven for terrorist attacks throughout the world. Al-Shabaab has publicly committed to planning and conducting attacks against the US and our allies.
We continue to work in coordination with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabaab and help achieve stability and security throughout the region.
We will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operational security.
This strike was conducted within the parameters of the proposal approved by the President in March 2017, which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct lethal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of active hostilities in support of partner forces in Somalia.