Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM362

Incident date

December 14, 2022

Location

176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Airwars assessment

US declared airstrikes near Cadale, Middle Shabelle, Somalia on December 14, 2022 allegedly killed seven al-Shabaab militants, with no civilians killed or injured. Statements from the Somali government put casualty counts at 88 al-Shabaab militants killed in Middle Shabelle.

AFRICOM released a statement on December 18th that “At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia. The Dec. 14 strike took place 176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale. The current assessment is 7 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed….U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.”

@BCFinucane pointed out that the US Congress failed to include a provision in the military spending bill that would have restricted designation of partner force eligible for collective self defense strikes.

A tweet from @dhoorebbc quoted Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister, who told state media that 88 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in Juhay village in Middle Shabelle region in an operation carried out by the Somali National Army with support of airstrikes from the US.

VOA News reported that the government also published images and videos of what they alleged were al-Shabaab fighters killed in the operation, in addition to announcing that an al-Shabaab commander identified as Yusuf Mohamed Jingab was among those killed in the operation.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two collective self-defense strikes, one each on Dec. 14 and 17, 2022, in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab near Cadale, Somalia.

The Dec. 14 strike took place 176 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, in the vicinity of Cadale. The current assessment is 7 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

The Dec. 17 strike took place approximately 220 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu, also in the vicinity of Cadale. The command’s initial assessment is 8 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed.

U.S. Africa Command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.

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. U.S. kinetic actions against al-Shabaab in Somalia are conducted in support of the Federal Government of Somalia's ongoing campaign to disrupt terrorist operations in their country.

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 these operations 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.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–88

Sources (8) [ collapse]