On December 18th 2017, AFRICOM reported that it had “conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the early evening hours on Friday, Dec. 15, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo”. It added that “we assess no civilians were killed in the strike.”
However, AFRICOM claimed that the strike had killed “eight (8) terrorists” and destroyed “one vehicle”. It said the strike had hit approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo. News agency Xinhua spoke to a military official who said several strikes had hit Berhani, which they placed a similar distance from Kismayo. The official said the strikes had targeted an Al Shabaab base.
Xinhua also spoke to Berhani residents who said there were major explosions in the early hours of December 16th. “We heard huge explosions and the earth was shaking. We are told Al-Shabaab base was hit by American drones,” a resident said.
Reports from Kismayo indicates that an strike has been targeted on al shabab vehicle going by near Berhani village 60km west of Kismayo, preliminary reports said five of al shabab militants confirmed dead and others wounded, so far no one claimed the responsibility of that strike
— Khadar Hared (@khadarHared) December 16, 2017
IANS claimed that “several senior al Shabaab terrorists” were killed in the attack.
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 Qudus.
The incident occured during the night.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the area 30 miles northwest of Kismayo, for which the generic coordinates are: -0.100658, 42.189983. 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, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants in the early evening hours on Friday, Dec. 15, approximately 30 miles northwest of Kismayo, killing eight (8) terrorists and destroying one vehicle.
We assess no civilians were killed in the strike.
U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect U.S. citizens and to disable terrorist threats. This includes partnering with AMISOM and Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) in combined counterterrorism operations and targeting terrorists, their training camps, and their safe havens throughout Somalia and the region.