US Africa Command reported that two days previously, it had carried out an airstrike “in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 6, 2019.”
AFRICOM reported that it “currently assesses the airstrike on February 6 killed 11 militants.”
It added that “at this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in either airstrike.”
In a subsequent FOIA response obtained by journalist Joshua Eaton in May 2019, AFRICOM again confirmed it had struck on this date what it says were al Shabaab fighters, in the vicinity of Gandarshe.
An OCCRP investigation later looked into the collection of ISR: “On February 1 and 5, 2019, a contractor-owned Gulfstream jet flew repeatedly over a small area in Lower Shabelle, about 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu. It returned to the area on March 9. The plane had a particular flight pattern — near-perfect circles — and was likely collecting data with its specialized sensors, according to experts on the subject.
On February 6 and 11, and again on March 11, U.S. airstrikes hit areas the plane apparently surveyed. AFRICOM said 11 militants were killed in the first strike near the ancient seaside town of Gandarshe, which was directly below the Gulfstream’s flightpath.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village Gandarshe (غندرشي), for which the coordinates are: 1.8349369, 44.9668452. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia's increased efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in separate engagements in the last 48 hours. The first airstrike occurred in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 6, 2019. U.S. Africa Command also conducted an airstrike in the vicinity of Bariire, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 7, 2019.
Encouraged and supported by the Federal Government of Somalia, precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism while creating opportunities for increased governance to take hold.
“The Federal Government of Somalia is placing persistent pressure on al-Shabaab and its’ affiliates, working to create conditions for enhanced security and stability,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “They continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to degrading al-Shabaab.”
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses the airstrike on February 6 killed 11 militants.
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses the airstrike on February 7 killed four militants. This precision airstrike was executed after our Somali partners were engaged by al-Shabaab militants as they conducted an operation to disrupt al-Shabaab efforts to illegally tax and intimidate civilians in the area.
At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in either airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States, and U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to protect the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.