US Africa Command stated in a press release issued the following day that it carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Malayle, Lower Juba region on March 13th 2019.
AFRICOM stated unusually that it had carried out “a collective self-defense airstrike,” explaining that “Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) were conducting a presence patrol in the region in order to maintain pressure on the al-Shabaab network. During the mission, militants engaged the SNSF patrol with small arms fire.” It added that “U.S. service members were not present on the ground during the operation.”
AFRICOM also asserted that it “currently assesses this airstrike killed three militants.” And it said that “at this time, it is assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike.”
In what appears to be a reference to this event, Xinhua cited local Somali defence officials: “Abdi Nur Ibrahim, Jubaland spokesman for security told journalists that an offensive was carried out by SNA and Jubaland forces along with foreign partners in an area between Bar Sanguni and Jamame in Somalia’s southern Lower Juba region. Local residents said that the two warring sides exchanged huge gunfire. ‘Heavily armed forces attacked al-Shabab militants in the town, both engaged fierce fighting,’ Dubad Ga’al, a resident told Xinhua by phone.”
In an article citing this and two previous declared US strikes, Voice of America cited AFRICOM’s Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks as saying: “Somali forces and their international partners have gained ground ‘particularly out of Kismayo in the south,’ which just a few years ago was considered the epicenter of the al-Shabab terror group, according to the U.S. general. ‘We’ve cleared about 45 kilometers up the Lower Juba River Valley, established combat outposts that have withheld multiple attacks, and as we — again, ‘we’ as the Somalis and our AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] partners — make contact with al-Shabab, the enemy is presenting itself in such a way that it can be struck as part of this broader counterinsurgency effort,’ Hicks told VOA.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (3) [ collapse]
from sources (3) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village Malayle, for which the coordinates are: -0.00182, 42.66156. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
"U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense airstrike in the vicinity of Malayle, Lower Juba Region, Somalia, on March 13, 2019, in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab.
Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) were conducting a presence patrol in the region in order to maintain pressure on the al-Shabaab network. During the mission, militants engaged the SNSF patrol with small arms fire."