AFRICOM said that it had carried out a strike on “al Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Kamsuuma” on March 12th. It made no mention of civilian harm.
The US had already carried out ten strikes since the start of the year, a US Africa Command spokesperson confirmed to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) at the start of April, which had recorded only six strikes based on press releases from the Command.
The spokesperson provided details on the strikes BIJ had not recorded: “The second took place on March 12 and targeted al Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Kamsuuma. However, due to unanticipated cloud cover, the strike was aborted in mid-air.”
The spokesperson said this was still included in their official strike count. This suggested that a missile may in fact have been released during the action – and was then ‘cold shifted’ to a safer location. There was no mention made of civilian harm from this strike.
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM confirmed it had targeted on this date what it says were “al-Shabaab Fighters”, in the vicinity of Kamsuuma, Somalia.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village Kamsuuma for which the coordinates are: 0.2499, 42.770876. 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, April 4th, 2018:
“U.S. forces conducted an airstrike on March 12 targeting al-Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Kamsuuma, Somalia. However, due to unanticipated cloud cover, the strike was aborted in mid-air.”