A US airstrike was called in to support a Somali forces unit under attack from al Shabaab, AFRICOM reported the next day.
According to the official press release, “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged Somali National Army Danab Unit near Bangeeni, Somalia, Jan. 19. ”
Unusually, AFRICOM noted that “This airstrike targeted al-Shabaab fighters who posed a direct, immediate, and significant threat to our partner forces.”
Abdirahman Ahmed, a Somali Ministry of Information official, also stated in a tweet that “On the afternoon of 19 January 2020, the FGS in coordination with the US Military and FMS conducted an air strike on AS militants during a clearance operation being conducted by the Elite Danab Commandos near the town of Bangeeni. Three AS operatives were killed in the strike.”
According to the Anatolia Agency several al Shabaab fighters were also wounded – though it was unclear whether this had resulted from the airstrike or ground fire.
Mareeg Media said that Bangeeni was between Koban and Jamame, in Lower Shabelle.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
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from sources (8) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention strikes in the vicinity of Bangeeni town, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.04072, 42.729703. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Somali, U.S. forces engage insurgents in support of the Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged Somali National Army Danab Unit near Bangeeni, Somalia, Jan. 19.
Somali security forces continue to lead operations alongside African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces to increase security and seize ground from the al-Qaida-aligned al-Shabaab.
“This airstrike targeted al-Shabaab fighters who posed a direct, immediate, and significant threat to our partner forces,” said Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operation, U.S. Africa Command. “Al-Shabaab consists of terrorists and criminals who seek to export hate and violence more broadly. We remain committed to supporting our Somali partners and the security progress together we are building in the region.”
At this time, it is assessed this precision airstrike killed three (3) militants.
Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
The overarching goal in Somalia for AFRICOM is to help the Federal Government of Somalia provide a safe and secure environment for the people of Somalia, deter organizations such as al-Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia from expanding, and promote regional security as well as cooperation to strengthen the ability of African militaries to work together. The U.S., by virtue of our capabilities, influence, and credibility, is uniquely postured to support Somali efforts, including to help coordinate other international partner engagement. Al-Shabaab pose a direct threat to Americans, our African partners, international allies, and U.S. interests in the region.