Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM311

Incident date

July 21, 2020

Location

Timirshe, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.56245, 50.42396 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Seven ISIS fighters were killed by a US airsrtrike near Timirshe, according to AFRICOM.

The press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

Radio Dalsan said eight ISIS members were killed and two vehicles destroyed.

The strike was conducted in support of the Puntland Security Forces, according to Real Clear Defense: “Local reporting has said that the PSF engaged in a multi-hour gunfight with the ISS militants, which led to the supporting U.S. airstrike.”

After an exchange on Twitter with Rita Katz, AFRICOM conceded that one partner force sustained in injury in the incident, after initially claiming it had not.

Halgan Media later published details about one of the ISIS members killed in the operation: “The Somali-ISIS faction has released a statement of admission revealing one of there senior figures Khalid Jama Mohamed, better known as Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was killed in a US drone strike in the Bari province of Northeast Somalia.

The statement by Somalia’s Islamic State faction stated that the now, deceased Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was key figure in the Somali-ISIS faction, prior to his death.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was said to be of Pakistani orgin and was a former member of Al Shabaab’s media branch prior to defecting to the Somali-ISIS faction.”

Garowe said that the incident took place in the Golis Mountains and provided further information: “In addition, the Puntland forces confirmed that over 20 militants were killed following an airstrike and subsequent ground combat.”

The outlet added: “During the operation, Puntland said, two trucks and several explosives were seized by ground forces, with several other militants also surrendering to the security teams.”

It is unclear whether US special forces supported the operation on the ground and to what extent the Puntland Security Forces are supported by the US.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Screenshot of ISIS media outlet mourning the death of Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, allegedly killed by a US airstrike near Timirshe on July 22nd, 2020 (via Puntland Mirror)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Timirshe. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Timirshe are: 10.56245, 50.42396.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

"We continue to apply pressure on terrorist groups and assist our Somali partners in disrupting their operations," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, AFRICOM. "We continue our support to rid Somalia of the likes of ISIS and al-Shabaab."

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the area in order to advise and assist Somali and partner forces. Terrorist groups continue to resort to the tradecraft of terror and propaganda in an effort to intimidate the local populace.

"Mistruths and lies are the terrorist weapons of choice," said Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs, AFRICOM. "ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab have bankrupt narratives and visions of the future. Our partnership to unmask and degrade the capability of these terrorists is essential to security and stability in Somalia."

U.S. Africa Command continues to support the Government of Somalia by strengthening its security forces and promoting regional security, stability, and prosperity. Concurrently, the command is building enduring relationships and strategic alliances in East Africa to address looming challenges and malign activity by near-peer competitors.

The U.S continues to provide support to Somali efforts and counter violent extremist threats. The challenges in Africa will require African and international solutions. U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with our African partners.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]