On September 5th 2017, AFRICOM reported that it had conducted a precision airstrike in “central Somalia” against al-Shabaab militants that same day at approximately 9:50am local Somalia time. The release made no mention of civilian harm.
However, AFRICOM asserted that the strike had killed “three (3) terrorists”.
The action, it said, had hit in the Bay region of Somalia, about 75 kilometers west of the capital. It was carried out in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces operating in the area.
AP also reported the following: “‘We assess no civilians were anywhere near the site,” a spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, told The Associated Press. He said he did not have the identities of the extremists killed. The al-Shabab members were operating ‘in close proximity to’ Somali army forces and African Union forces in the area ‘and were deemed as a credible threat,’ Falvo said.”
VOA placed the strike “near the village of Dodale in the Bay region, on an unspecified target.”
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM said it had struck what it says was “an al-Shabaab Technical Vehicle”, in the vicinity of Tortoroow.
The incident occured at approximately 9:50 am local time.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention various locations. The Africom press release and other reports say the strike took place in the Bay region, about 75 kilometers west of Mogadishu. A subsequent FOIA response points to a more specific location: in the vicinity of Tortoroow (2.25045, 44.69117), which is not in the Bay region, but it is 75 kilometers west of Mogadishu. According to Voice of America the strike occurred in the village Dodale, which is in the Bay region but around 125 kilometers away from Tortoroow. The ‘vicinity’, however, could describe a larger area. The coordinates for Dodale are: 2.3176, 43.56929. As the majority of reports point to Tortoroow as location for this incident, it has been geolocated to: 2.25045, 44.69117. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Department of Defense conducted a precision airstrike in central Somalia against al-Shabaab militants on Tues., Sept. 5 at approximately 9:50 a.m. local Somalia time, killing three (3) terrorists.
The operation occurred in the Bay Region of Somalia, about 75 kilometers west of the capital, Mogadishu. The U.S. conducted this operation in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces that were operating in the area.
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 U.S. and our partners in the region.
U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF); targeting terrorists, their training camps and safe havens throughout Somalia, the region and around the world.