A Mareeg Media report from March 16th 2019 asserted that US-backed Somali forces had carried out an “air and ground operation” near Marka Town in Jilib Marka, 91km southwest of Mogadishu.
Citing anonymous Somali military officials, Mareeg said that “at least” 22 “militants” were killed in the operation, including ‘senior al Shabaab commanders’ Abu Yasin Sheikh Mohamed and Abu Mohamed Hamza. Universal TV Somalia described Mohamud Abu Hamza as having recently returned from Syria, while Xamar Today said that it was Abu Yasin who had recently arrived from Syria.
It added that “Somali military [sources] says drone strike also hit group’s militants in the area, inflicting heavy casualties upon them.”
In what may be the same or a separate event, Danan News reported on March 15th: “#BREAKING: Sources confirm a US airstrike killed today a senior al-Shabab commander known as #Ibrahim_Garwayne in #Lower_Shabelle region at #Leego village.#Somalia”.
According to Hiiran, “The troops also seized four al-Shabaab armored vehicles, an official said, adding that the operation was part of a regular operation conducted by government forces and US forces in the southern regions.”
Al-Shabaab also did not deny or confirm an attack on its forces.
Asked whether it had been responsible for this event, in February 2020 a senior AFRICOM official told Airwars that this was not the case. However, this may not preclude actions by the CIA which conducts its own undeclared strikes in Somalia.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the area around the village Jilib Marka, near the town of Marka. The coordinates for Jilib Marka are: 1.79767, 44.90755. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.