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.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
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.
US 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.