Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM182-C

Incident date

January 20, 2019

Location

Radio Andalus, Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A reported airstrike or bomb blast by an unknown party on an al Shabaab radio station in Buale or Jilib town killed up to 25 al Shabaab supporters – five of them journalists. US Africa Command later denied responsibility.

According to Sonna Somalia, “At least 10 people have been killed and more than 30 others injured in a bomb blast in Jilib district in Middle Jubba region, witnesses said. The shelling caused heavy casualties to Al-Shabaab journalists who were in the compound during the shelling. Officials in the Jubbaland state confirmed the shelling on Al-Andulus Radio, an Al-Shabaab radio station, killing about 20 militants. According to local media, at least five Al-Shabaab journalists were killed and the radio station was demolished.”

It named the dead journalists as Feisalal Yare, Mohamed Adan Nasrudiin, Abdikarim Seyfulah, and Hassan Abdirahman.

Mogadishu News said that five journalists and 20 al Shabaab fighters were killed, in what it claimed was an airstrike on Jilib town.

In April 2020, AFRICOM denied responsibility for the event noting: “January 21, 2020, AFRICOM received a report from a foreign non-government organization claiming up to five (5) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on January 20, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.”

Airwars continues to count this as a possible US action, since it may have been a non-declared CIA strike.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 5
  • (0–5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10–25
  • Belligerents reported injured
    30

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted Al Shabaab radio station Al Andalus in the town of Jilib. Some sources also mention the town Bu’aale, but Radio Andalus is known to be located in Jilib. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location for Radio Andalus. The coordinates for the town Jilib (جيليب) are: 0.494527, 42.777868.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • January 21, 2020, AFRICOM received a report from a foreign non-government organization claiming up to five (5) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on January 20, 2019. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or location.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 5
  • (0–5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    10–25
  • Belligerents reported injured
    30

Sources (3) [ collapse]