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 that 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 said it had struck what it says were al Shabaab fighters, in the vicinity of Mubaraak.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident only mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Mubaraak (مبارك), for which the coordinates are: 1.9172773, 44.7731843. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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."
FOIA response May 2019:
"10/2/2017: AS fighters IVO Mubaraak, Somalia."