Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM238

Incident date

July 14, 2019

Location

Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

2.208334, 44.909651 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Province/governorate

Airwars assessment

US air support was potentially involved in an operation to retake areas of the Lower Shabelle region which killed 15 al Shabaab fighters, Radio Shabelle reported.

Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi Arale confirmed to state media that the Somali National Army had retaken Yaaqbari Weyne, MadaxMarodi and Lego villages. Colonel Arale reportedly said that his troops had killed 15 fighters during the operation and destroyed several vehicles that they were using.

According to Shabelle’s sources, the US also provided air support. However other local sources made no mention of US support at the time.

In August 2019, the Media Relations Chief for US Africa Command, John Manley, denied US involvement in the strike telling the Bureau of Investigative Journalism “We did not participate in any combined operations in this location on this day, as alleged in the article.”

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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Known attacker
    Somalia Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    15

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the Lower Shabelle region. The report points to three different villages, spread throughout the region: Yaaqbari Weyne (2.62947, 44.69768), Madax Marodi (1.83016, 44.46721) and Leego (2.71437, 44.50902, just across the border in Bay). The generic coordinates for the Lower Shabelle region are: 2.208334, 44.909651. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The villages Leego, Yaaqbari Weyne and Madax Marodi, with the Lower Shabelle region marked in red

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

US denial of strike via email to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, received on August 5th, 2019:

"Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We did not participate in any
combined operations in this location on this day, as alleged in the article."

Somalia Military Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Somalia Military Forces
  • Somalia Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Kenyan Military Forces
  • Kenyan Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Known attacker
    Somalia Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    15

Sources (3) [ collapse]