Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM312-C

Incident date

July 29, 2020

Location

جيليب, Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

The US military reported on the same day that it had conducted an airstrike against al Shabaab fighters in the town of Jilib. However it was locally claimed that the attack had killed three young children, whose bodies were shown on social media.

In a press release published on the evening of the attack, AFRICOM noted: “The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and wounded one (1) terrorist. An al-Shabaab compound was destroyed in the airstrike.”

The release also noted that “U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this airstrike. At this time, U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

However al Shabaab released images which it said were taken at the scene of the US strike, showing the bodies of three young boys and a destroyed structure. Morad news named the dead as Abukar Ahmad, 8 years old; Abdisamad Hussain, aged 12; and Abdullahi Mohamad, aged 13.

AllBalcad said: “The bombing, which took place at around 2pm, featured pro-al-Shabaab media showing the bodies of three children and the destruction of a house. The children were said to be between the ages of 8 and 13 and Alshabab did not say who else was injured in the bombing.”

Mareeg reported: “But the strike has killed at least 3 children under the age of 13, and destroyed their wooden house in the town.

The children were playing outside their home when they were struck by a heavy metal fragment from the munition and then, all died on scene, a witness, who asked to be anonymous said.”

Halgan Media and other sources said it was a drone strike.

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 pm local time.

  • Abukar Ahmad 8 years old male killed
  • Abdisamad Hussain 12 years old male killed
  • Abdullahi Mohamad 13 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • 'The United States says a bombing in Jilib has killed a number of al-Shabab members, wounded others and destroyed a military base. Al Shabaab has denied the allegations, saying three children were killed in the shelling. Expect their names.'
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of alleged victim of US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Hon Siciid Ibnu dhakhtar)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Aftermath of alleged US airstrike on Jilib on July 29h, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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 targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, July 29.

“U.S. Africa Command continues to assist the Federal Government of Somalia in disrupting al-Shabaab plans for destruction,” said U.S. Air Force Col Chris Karns, director of public affairs, AFRICOM. “We remain committed to supporting our partners in our mutual fight against violent extremism.”

The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and wounded one (1) terrorist. An al-Shabaab compound was destroyed in the airstrike.

U.S. Africa Command is aware of reports alleging civilian casualties resulting from this airstrike. At this time, U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command reviews reasonably available information it has about the incident. U.S. Africa Command complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions to minimize risk to civilians.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use a range of effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people. Together with partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development while preventing al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach and further export violence.

U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (17) [ collapse]