Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM356

Incident date

November 9, 2022

Location

285 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, Galgaduud, Somalia

Geolocation

4.483513, 46.227249 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Additional Geolocations

4.512549, 46.283599 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least 17 militants were killed by US AFRICOM declared airstrikes approximately 285 kilometers northeast, possibly in Basra, Balad district and/or in Ceel Gorof (Galmudug) on November 9, 2022.

AFRICOM released a statement two days after the incident, November 11th, that “Somali National Army forces were engaged with al Shabaab fighters in a remote area approximately 285 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu on Nov. 9. At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against the al-Shabaab terrorists who were attacking the Somali forces. Working with the Somali National Army, U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed 17 attacking al Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed.”

Unlike recent statements, AFRICOM does not provide a specific location name for the incident. @Vatescorp tweeted that although AFRICOM did not confirm the location, there were reports that airstrikes were conducted on November 9th and 10th IVO Wabxo, Galgaduud. Geolocation narrowed the referenced location from AFRICOM to the vicinity of Ceel Gorof (the Gorof well) and Wabxo village, which are very close to each other and approx 285 km northeast of Mogadishu.

A tweet from @BCFinucane pointed out that in a later part of the statement, AFRICOM refers to al-Shabaab as being capable of attacking “Somali, East African, and American civilians”, yet “if the reference to the threat from Al Shabaab to US civilians is an allusion to the 2020 attack on Manda Bay, that seems like a stretch”.

The National News Media added that the strike came a few days after al-Shabaab killed five soldiers in Mogadishu and a little over a week after al-Shabaab was responsible for a mass casualty car bombing.

On the same day as the strike, National News Media reported that the Somali army released a statement that they had killed at least 20 militants and took back al-Shabaab controlled towns in central Somalia. A tweet from @ArlaadiMnetwork Abdikamil Moalim Shukri, spokesman for the ministry of internal security, who they said announced that at least 47 al-Shabaab militants were killed by an operation carried out by NISA (the National Intelligence and Security Agency) and international friends in Basra, Balad district. @HarunMaruf added that the government also announced that in addition to the 47 militants killed in Basra, 50 militants were killed in Ceel Gorof (Galmudug).

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17–97

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Ceel Gorof (Gorof well) and the village of Wabxo, located close together, in the Galguduud region, approximately 285 kilometres northeast of Mogadishu. The generic coordinates for the Gorof well are: 4.483513, 46.227249. The generic coordinates for Wabxo are: 4.512549, 46.283599. 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

Somali National Army forces were engaged with al Shabaab fighters in a remote area approximately 285 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu on Nov. 9. At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against the al-Shabaab terrorists who were attacking the Somali forces.


Working with the Somali National Army, U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed 17 attacking al Shabaab terrorists and that no civilians were injured or killed.

U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote greater security for all Africans.

Al-Shabaab is the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world and has proven both its will and capability to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians.

Somalia remains key to the stability and security in all of 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 defeat al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of this 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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17–97

Sources (10) [ collapse]