Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM102

Incident date

November 12, 2017

Location

Golis Mountains, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

11.060894, 49.184169 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Two US strikes took place in Somalia on November 12th, with one targeting al Shabaab and the other hitting Islamic State, according to US Africa Command. The strikes killed “several” fighters, it said.

The first strike against al Shabaab is recorded in a separate event. The second attack was carried out at approximately 0900 local time against Islamic State in Somalia’s Puntland region, AFRICOM said.

This and the four additional strikes between November 9th and November 12th killed “more than 40 terrorists,” a Pentagon spokesperson told reporters on November 13th. He did not say how many people were killed in which of the five strikes, “for operational reasons,” an Africom spokesperson told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism on November 15th.

Four of the 40 dead were members of the Islamic State group – they are counted in this entry. The rest were in al Shabaab. We have logged 19 previously unreported casualties in this entry as well, while the exact accounting of fatality to strike remains secret.

In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM said it had struck what it says were Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS-S) fighters, in the vicinity of the Golis Mountains.

The incident occured at approximately 9:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    23

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • CGTN All Africa report on recent US strikes in Somalia, including against ISIS

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the region Puntland, for which the generic coordinates are: 10.163098, 50.114936. A subsequent FOIA response points to  its own public reporting of airstrikes in northern Somalia, AFRICOM tends to cite only ‘the vicinity of the Golis Mountains’ – instead of the nearest settlement usually provided for elsewhere. The Golis Mountains extend from the border with Ethiopia into Somaliland, and then eastwards to Puntland. Given that both ISIS and Al Shabaab are reportedly present more in Puntland, or on the Puntland/Somaliland borders, it is likely this strike took place in that region. In this respect, and in combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point, for which the coordinates are: 11.060894, 49.184169. Due to limited satellite imagery, and public reporting available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.  

  • Combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

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:
"U.S. forces conducted two separate airstrikes against al-Shabaab and ISIS, in Somalia on Nov. 12, killing several terrorists. The first strike occurred at approximately 3 a.m. local Somalia time against al-Shabaab in the Lower Shabelle Region about 40 miles west of the capital Mogadishu. The second separate strike occurred at approximately 9 a.m. local Somalia time against ISIS in Puntland."

Via May 2019 FOIA:
"11/12/2017 ISIS-S fighters IVO Golis Mountains, Somalia

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    23

Sources (5) [ collapse]