The United States reported conducting an airstrike against al Shabaab in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow on August 20th, which it asserted had “killed one (1) terrorist.”
According to a press release issued on the same day, “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on August 20, 2019. ‘This strike is an example of the pressure U.S. Africa Command places on terrorist networks, including the al-Qaida aligned al-Shabaab,’ said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command.”
Garowe Online suggested a link to a a previous deadly al Shabaab attack in the area: “The new airstrike was announced days after 6 soldiers were killed in two-car bombings at a military camp in Awdheegle town in the same region, which lies about 70 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.”
New America – which has been monitoring the US campaign in Somalia since 2010, noted: “On August 20, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted its 50th airstrike in Somalia since the start of 2019, according to research by New America. With its 50th strike, the United States has conducted double the number of strikes that it had through August last year. The escalation is unprecedented, already surpassing the 47 strikes the United States conducted in all of 2018, previously the peak of the American counterterrorism war in Somalia. U.S. officials stated earlier this year that the United States would reduce its presence and strikes in Somalia, but the numbers tell a different story.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
from sources (5) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of Kunya Barrow (حرمك) or Qunyo Barrow, for which the coordinates are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
U.S., Federal Government of Somalia target al-Shabaab with airstrike
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on August 20, 2019.
“This strike is an example of the pressure U.S. Africa Command places on terrorist networks, including the al-Qaida aligned al-Shabaab,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “This persistent pressure limits the terrorists’ freedom of movement, creates confusion within the network, and supports our Somali partners as they continue to take the fight to al-Shabaab.”
At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this 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. 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 counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.