Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM377

Incident date

February 21, 2023

Location

Galmudug, Mudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.431001, 47.291339 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least seven alleged al-Shabaab militants were killed by declared US airstrikes near Galmudug, Somalia on February 21, 2023.

AFRICOM released a statement on February 22nd 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 Feb 21, 2023. The strike occurred in a remote area near Galmudug, Somalia which is approximately 510 km northeast of Mogadishu. The initial assessment is the strike killed 7 al-Shabaab fighters. Given the remote location of the operation, the command assesses that no civilians were injured or killed.”

Garowe Online added that prior to the announcement by AFRICOM, Somali officials had hinted at the airstrikes and stated that they were against senior al-Shabaab officials. Islam Times News quoted Somali government officials who announced that the Somali military with support from Galmudug regional forces killed over 80 al-Shabaab militants in Shabeelow, Mudug region. It is unclear if this is the same operation AFRICOM is referencing due to their lack of a specific location.

Task and Purpose pointed out that no information was given in the statement as to whether the strike was carried out by a manned of unmanned aircraft, or what ordnance was used.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the state of Galmudug, for which the generic coordinates are: 5.431001, 47.291339. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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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

Sources (10) [ 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 and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Feb 21, 2023.

The strike occurred in a remote area near Galmudug, Somalia which is approximately 510 km northeast of Mogadishu.

The initial assessment is the strike killed 7 al-Shabaab fighters.

Given the remote location of the operation, the command assesses that no civilians were injured or killed.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has publicly stated that economic reform, social and political reconciliation, and religious tolerance are key pillars of his strategy to mobilize society against international terrorism. Military actions are just one part of the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to comprehensively address their security challenges.

The U.S. is one of several countries providing humanitarian aid, stabilization efforts, economic development, and military assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia in their ongoing campaign.

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 brings together multiple agencies from within the U.S. government to increase cooperation and support for partner-led, U.S.-enabled solutions to shared security challenges, including violent extremism or terrorism.

Somalia remains central to stability and security in all of East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces train, advise, and assist 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 and partner forces 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 will continue to 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

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

Sources (10) [ collapse]