Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM197

Incident date

February 23, 2019

Location

Dacaraha, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.55556, 44.13643 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A US airstrike targeted alleged al Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Dacaraha village, 50 km west of Mogadishu, a local source reported.

Publicly AFRICOM said it had conducted two strikes near Kunyo Barrow that day, with others at Janaale and Awdhegle. The other Kunyo barrow strike – which hit the town itself – reportedly killed a father and child and is documented in a separate event.

The Pentagon announced the four airstrikes on February 23rd in a press release from US Africa Command. “These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia,” the AFRICOM statement read. It also assessed that no civilians were injured or killed in these strikes, but that two terrorists were killed.

In an email to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US Africa Command later stated that the two terrorists were killed in the airstrike that hit Kunyow Barrow.

In September 2019, TRT World Research Centre published an investigation into the event. “A local media station, Gundhig reported in the morning of the attack on 24 February that the “air strike, which happened at midnight last night, targeted al-Shabaab operated areas, including Kuunya Barrow, Awdheegle, and the Dacaaraha village, which is near to Qoryoley and Janaale.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Janaale, near the village Dacaraha. The coordinates for Dacaraha are: 1.55556, 44.13643. 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

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia's increased efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted four airstrikes on February 23, 2019.

"Somali-led operations continue to place pressure on the al-Shabaab network, creating conditions for enhanced stability and security," said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. "In addition to creating enhanced security, airstrikes help to disrupt al-Shabaab operations and the network while preventing future attacks by this terrorist group."

Two airstrikes on February 23 occurred in the vicinity of Kunyow Barrow, Somalia, which is approximately 250 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. One airstrike occurred in the vicinity of Awdeegle, Somalia, which is approximately 50 kilometers west of Mogadishu. One airstrike occurred in the vicinity of Janaale, Somalia, which is approximately 75 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

Airstrikes such as these complement our Somali partners’ successes against al-Shabaab, and are one component of our combined efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism. Somali security forces continue to effectively target al-Shabaab forces in order to increase the span of governance of the Federal Government of Somalia.

These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia.

"Degrading various facilities and checkpoints impacts al-Shabaab’s ability to finance operations, recruit, and execute operations," said Olson. "The Federal Government of Somalia continues to place persistent pressure on the network."

At this time, it is assessed these airstrikes killed two terrorists.

At this time, it is assessed no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.

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. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (10) [ collapse]