Up to five people, including two reported civilians, were killed in a US military airstrike that hit in the vicinity of Jamaame, in Somalia’s Lower Juba region, international media reported.
According to a US Africa Command press release, a US strike on al Shabaab killed four members of the group.
VOA reporter Khadar Hared tweeted that two civilians were believed to be among the dead, killed in an airstrike at “Bangeeni village located about 8 km west of Jamame.”
A Somali government official also told VOA Somali that the strike killed five militants: “I can tell you that the airstrike hit a rickshaw and that five militants were killed. It was carried out by US drone, helping our intelligence forces on the ground.”
However the VOA report also said that “Somali officials said they were investigating the identity of those targeted. Some sources said two of those in the rickshaw were civilians traveling with three militants.”
Slightly different account from locals/witnesses – who tell @voasomali on condition of anonymity that 2 of those killed were civilians traveling with the #alShabab fighters
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) February 22, 2018
US Africa Command later assessed that no civilians killed in the strike, noting: “NOT/ NOT CREDIBLE: Classified evidence captured at the scene proves story was incorrect,” according to a declassified assessment obtained by US investigative journalist Nick Mercer in 2019.
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM confirmed it had struck that day what it says were “al-Shabaab Fighters”, in the vicinity of Kobon, Somalia.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Jamaame (0.06978, 42.748066). A subsequent FOIA response pointed to the nearby village of Kobon, for which the coordinates are: 0.03586, 42.704521. However, VOA reporter Khadar Hared tweeted that the strike took place in “Bangeeni village, located about 8 km west of Jamame.” The coordinates for Bangeeni are: 0.04072, 42.729703. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Aug 1, 2019
NOT/ NOT CREDIBLE: Classified evidence captured at the scene proves story was incorrect,
Original strike reports
U.S. Conducts Airstrike in Support of the Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab militants on Feb. 21, in the vicinity of Jamaame, Somalia, killing four (4) terrorists.
We assess no civilians were killed in this 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.
Together with other international partners, the United States is committed to providing Somalia, AMISOM and SNSF with support in the fight against violent extremist organizations.