AFRICOM reported that the previous day it had “conducted two (2) airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia targeting al-Shabaab militants on November 19, 2018”. This entry records the first of of these events.
AFRICOM asserted that “We currently assess these airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.” It also claimed that “the first airstrike killed twenty-seven (27) militants. This precision strike was a planned and deliberate action.”
A US defense official told CNN that the strikes were carried out by a drone and that the target of this one was an al Shabaab camp. Also, this strike was a “planned and deliberate action” which killed 27 al Shabaab fighters, according to AFRICOM.
Voice of America suggested a near location for both strikes: “Local sources tell VOA’s Somali Service that the attacks took place in the vicinity of Dabad Shil, about 60 kilometers north of Harardhere, a town in the Mudug region. Locals told VOA Somali that the strikes targeted al-Shabab vehicles and militias.”
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM confirmed it had struck what it says were “al Shabaab fighters”, in the vicinity of Quy Cad, Somalia. The second event took place near Debatscile.
— US AFRICOM (@USAfricaCommand) November 20, 2018
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Quy Cad, near the village of Debatcile, for which the coordinates are: 5.172335, 48.123686.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Al-Shabaab Degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted two (2) airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia targeting al-Shabaab militants on November 19, 2018.
We currently assess the first airstrike killed twenty-seven (27) militants. This precision strike was a planned and deliberate action.
We currently assess the second, separate airstrike killed ten (10) militants.
We currently assess these airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.
These precision airstrikes were conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia as it continues to degrade al-Shabaab. Airstrikes reduce al-Shabaab’s ability to plot future attacks, disrupt its leadership networks, and degrade its freedom of maneuver within the region.
Alongside our Somali and international partners, we are committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack the people of Somalia. In particular, the group uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to fund its operations, and shelter radical terrorists.
The desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organizations cannot destabilize Somalia and its neighboring states, nor threaten the interests of the U.S. and its international allies in the region. Accordingly, U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.