Between two and 47 alleged al-Shabaab militants were killed by declared US airstrikes or drone strikes near Xaradheere, Somalia approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu on January 23, 2023. There are no known reports of civilian casualties.
US AFRICOM released a statement that “at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 23, 2023. The strike occurred in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations. The initial assessment is the strike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists. Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed.”
Somaliland News quoted the federal government of Somalia who reported that at least 40 Alshabab members were killed in an airstrike at Beer Faarah Village, but did not specify “which partner has helped them with the airstrikes”. A tweet from @hormaar quoted General of Somalia’s Ground Forces, Gen. Mohamed Tahlil Bihi who said that operations in western Xaradheere resulted in the death of 47 al-Shabaab militants over a two day period.
Shabelle Media News reported that a second airstrike happened around Amara town to assist Somali National Army ground operations. The commander who told Shabelle about the second airstrike confirmed that there were casualties among al-Shabaab but could not determine how many yet.
According to Shabelle Media News, al-Shabaab ordered a local telecom company to turn off the phone network to prevent any more airstrikes from “foreign warplanes” (likely US).
AllAfrica News referred to the strike as being carried out by a “drone”, pointing out that the strike was part of the battle against al-Shabaab in Beer Faarah near Xaradheere, which was recently retaken by government forces.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (13) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the town of Xaradheere, for which the generic coordinates are: 4.655025, 47.856184. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 23, 2023.
The strike occurred in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations.
The initial assessment is the strike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists.
Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed.
The U.S. is one of several countries providing support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its ongoing campaign to disrupt, degrade and defeat terrorist groups. Rooting out extremism ultimately requires intervention beyond traditional military means, leveraging U.S. and partner efforts to support effective governance, promote stabilization and economic development, and resolve ongoing conflicts
U.S. Africa Command is the defense arm of the U.S. whole-of-government approach with African partners -- diplomacy, development and defense. This three-pronged, or “3D” approach aims to increase cooperation and support for “partner-led, U.S.-enabled” solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism. All kinetic operations conducted and supported by U.S. Africa Command are done in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.
Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to help give them the tools they need to defeat al-Shabaab, the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world.
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.
The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command's operations to promote greater security for all Africans. To view the U.S. Africa Command Quarterly Civilian Casualty reports, visit: https://www.africom.mil/what-we-do/airstrikes/civilian-casualty-report