Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM105

Incident date

November 21, 2017

Location

Bur Elade, Bay, Somalia

Geolocation

2.44428, 43.53829 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

AFRICOM reported on the same day that it had “conducted an airstrike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at approximately 10:30 a.m. local Somalia time”.

It added that “the operation occurred 125 miles northwest of the capital, Mogadishu” though AFRICOM made no mention of civilian harm. However, it claimed that the attack had killed “more than 100 militants”. CNN said the attack was conducted by a manned aircraft, while Garowe said the attack was on “a mountainous settlement called Leb-Adde” and that ten munitions were used.

The Somali government said it had requested the strike. “Those militants were preparing explosives and attacks. Operations against al Shabaab have been stepped up,” Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman told Reuters. “We have asked the US to help us from the air to make our readied ground offensive more successful.”

Somalia’s state news agency SONNA also reported the deaths of 100 fighters following an attack on al Shabaab bases by US planes and Somali commandos. It placed ththe event in the Bur Elay area of Bay region. Military officials also told VOA that the strike hit Somalia’s Bay region. “‘It’s obvious from what we were seeing that these were militants,’ AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander Anthony Falvo told VOA.”

An Al Shabaab spokesperson denied the attack to Reuters, claiming it was “just propaganda.”.

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 camp on this date, in the vicinity of Bur Elade, Somalia.

The incident occured at approximately 10:30 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    100–105

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • CNN World report, November 21st 2017

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted an Al Shabaab camp in the vicinity of the Bur Elade or Bur Elay area, 200 kilometers northwest of the capital Mogadishu. Bur Elade is a hill in the Bay region, for which the coordinates are: 2.4442800, 43.5382900. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at approximately 10:30 a.m. local Somalia time, killing more than 100 militants.

The operation occurred 125 miles northwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

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.

Our political and security goals in Somalia are the same: a reconstituted Somali state at peace internally and able to address all threats within its territory."

Via FOIA response, May 2019:
"11/21/2017 AS Camp IVO Bur Elade, Somalia. al-Shabaab Camp."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    100–105

Sources (10) [ collapse]