Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM353-C

Incident date

October 1, 2022

Location

near Haramka, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.793681, 43.383796 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One high ranking al-Shabaab leader was killed by declared US and Somali airstrikes near Haramka in Middle Juba on October 1, 2022. Local sources also reported that another man named Ibrahim Hassan Dahir was also killed but are conflicted as to his status as a militant or civilian.

According to AFP, a top al-Shabaab leader named Abdullahi Yare who had a $3.0 million US bounty on his head was killed by a joint airstrike near Haramka. AFP described Yare as a co-founder of the group who was believed to be next in line to take over the leadership of the movement from the current chief Ahmed Diriye, who has been in charge since 2015. Garowe Online added that Yare had been in hiding and the Long War Journal quoted the Somali government in noting that he was acting as the head of al-Shabaab’s da’wah (proselytizing) department at the time of his death.

The Somali Ministry of Information said that “this leader… was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabab group. He was former head of the Shura council and the group’s director for finances.” @MOISOMALIA (Twitter for the Ministry of Information) posted that “Abdullahi Nadir, a top leader of #Alshabab terrorists” was killed by “Somali National Army and international security partners.”

Local sources, including @dhoorebbc, reported that in addition to Yare, the airstrike also killed Ibrahim Hassan Dahir. @InsightInstitue tweeted that Ibrahim is the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys, a former extremist leader who is currently under house arrest and that Hassan is the brother in law of Yare.

Sources were conflicted as to whether Ibrahim Hassan Dahir was a militant or a civilians. Various posts on Somalispot reported about Ibrahim, with one stating that Yare and Ibrahim were traveling together and “Dahir Aweys son was called by Shabaab from Muqdisho to treat injured terrorists” while another stated that “Ibrahim Hassan was a professor and known to be a relatively normal guy who just owned farms and wasn’t known to be affiliated with Shabaab that went about his business.” Another post wrote that because “Abudullahi Nadir guy – who was reported to be married to the sister of Sheekh Hassan Dahir Aweys – the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys was under surveillance for both American and Somali intelligence services” and that “it doesn’t look like the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys was the target himself.”

@OmarKiyow tweeted that Ibrahim had recently graduated from university and owned farmland in the area of the strike. A tweet from @Lowkey0nline also refers to Ibrahim as being a civilian and lists his title as “Dr. Ibrahim Hassan”.

AFRICOM released a statement October 3rd, two days after the incident, that “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabaab militant network in Somalia on October 1. The strike occurred near Jilib, about 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. The command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed an al-Shabaab leader and that no civilians were injured or killed.” The majority of other sources that reported on the incident identified the location as near Haramka, which is about 50 miles from Jilib.

The Long War Journal noted that al-Shabaab has not yet commented on Yare’s reported death.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected attacker
    Somali Military Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Wanted posted for Abdullahi Yare, leader of al-Shabaab allegedly killed by a US-Somali airstrike near Haramka on October 3, 2022. (Image posted by Long War Journal)
  • Ibrahim Hassan Dahir Aweys was reportedly killed in a declared US airstrike in Lower Shabelle on October 1, 2022. (Image posted by @InsightInstitue)
  • Ibrahim Hassan Dahir Aweys (left) and his father Hassan Dahir Awerys (right). Ibrahim was reportedly killed in a declared US airstrike in Lower Shabelle on October 1, 2022. (Image posted by @InsightInstitue)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention strikes in the vicinity of the town of Haramka, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.793681, 43.383796. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabaab militant network in Somalia on October 1. The strike occurred near Jilib, about 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.
The command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed an al-Shabaab leader and that no civilians were injured or killed.
U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting innocent civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote a more secure and stable Africa.
Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests. U.S. Africa Command, alongside its partners, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians.
Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to degrade al-Shabaab.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with partners, counters malign actors and transnational threats, responds to crises, and strengthens security forces in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity.

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Somali Military Forces
  • Somali Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected attacker
    Somali Military Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (22) [ collapse]