Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM352

Incident date

September 18, 2022

Location

near Bulabarde, Hiran, Somalia

Geolocation

3.855029, 45.568398 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

AFRICOM declared conducting an airstrike on September 18th 2022 against Al-Shabaab terrorists who who were reportedly attacking the Somalia National Army forces near Buulobarde, Somalia. The US confirmed responsibility for killing 27 militants in this strike, according to the US, with the Somalia National Army saying that over 100 militants were killed in the whole operation which lasted over 72 hours. There were other reports in local and national media that 75 militants were killed in one of the operations within this time period, in the same location.  It is unclear to the extent of the US involvement beyond the strike that they have declared.

There were no reports of civilian casualties from these strikes.

The Federal Republic of Somalia released a press release on September 19th 2022 which stated “Somali National Army has conducted offensive operations in Yasoman and Aborey in Hiran Region in the last 72 hours. SNA has killed in this operation more than 100 members of Al-Shabab who wre terrorising the local people. Air support from United States of America has assisted this operation led by SNA. The Government of Somalia appreciates the US Government for its continual support in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.”

The US released a statement a few days later, on September 22nd, confirming that they conducted an airstrike in the Hiran region “at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia… against al-Shabaab terrorists who were attacking Somali National Army forces near Buulobarde.” The US military reported that the airstrike was during a battle between Al-Shabaab fighters and Somali government forces.

One local source on Twitter, @HassanIstilla reported that “four people, including traditional elders, were killed when their vehicle hit a landmine on Saturday (17th) near Buq-aqable district in Hiran region. Al-Shabab denied responsibility and claimed that a US airstrike killed them. AFRICOM, or SNA did not announce an airstrike in the region.” However, the US and SNA operation was announced by the SNA on 19th, and the US confirmed their involvement on the 22nd.

AFRICOM reported that it was the largest combined military operation in the region in five years.

The @SomaliGuardian reported on Twitter that “Al-Shabaab says that it has killed 18 soldiers, wounded 20 others in fighting with govt troops, under cover of US air support, near the twon of Boco in Hiran region. It adds that Gorgor commander in the region is among casualties. No comment from SNA.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    27–100

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • US AFRICOM released press release declaring airstrike in the Hiran region, confirmed killing 27 militants on September 18th 2022 (Image via Twitter)
  • In one of the operations, Somali military said that it killed 75 militants in an operation on 18th September near Burlobade town (Image via @ShabelleMedia / Twitter)
  • In one of the operations, Somali military said that it killed 75 militants in an operation on 18th September near Burlobade town (Image via @ShabelleMedia / Twitter)
  • In one of the operations, Somali military said that it killed 75 militants in an operation on 18th September near Burlobade town (Image via @ShabelleMedia / Twitter)
  • In one of the operations, Somali military said that it killed 75 militants in an operation on 18th September near Burlobade town (Image via @ShabelleMedia / Twitter)
  • Press release from the Federal Republic of Somalia delcaring the operation and confirming the support of the US Forces (Image via @MOISOMALIA / Twitter)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Bulobarde, for which the generic coordinates are: 3.855029, 45.568398. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    27–100

Sources (17) [ collapse]