Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM158

Incident date

November 19, 2018

Location

Debatcile, Mudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.172335, 48.123686 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

On November 20th 2019, AFRICOM reported that it had “conducted two (2) airstrikes in the vicinity of Debatscile, Somalia targeting al-Shabaab militants on November 19, 2018”. These are recorded as separate events, with the other that day near Quy Cad.

AFRICOM asserted: “We currently assess these airstrikes did not injure or kill any civilians.” It also claimed that this “second, separate airstrike killed ten (10) militants”.

A US defense official told CNN that they were both carried out by a drone.  Voice of America noted that “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 Debatscile, Somalia.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village of Debatcile, for which the coordinates are: 5.172335, 48.123686. 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

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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10

Sources (4) [ collapse]