Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM406

Incident date

September 23, 2023

Location

Villages of Balal-Dheer, El-Gambar, and Mililiqo, Gal-Gaduud, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Local and official sources alleged that 27 al-Shabaab militants were killed by operations and airstrikes declared by the Somali military in the villages of Balal-Dheer, El-Gambar, and Mililiqo on September 22, 2023.

On Friday the 22nd of September, 2023, the Somali Ministry of Defense posted a statement on X / Twitter that “over 27 Khawarij militants were eliminated in a successful operation by the Somali National Army”. Yeni Safak News provided further details of the Ministry of Defense statement: that the operation had taken place in the villages of Balal-Dheer, El-Gambar, and Mililiqo where “three terrorist bases were targeted and destroyed, along with their vehicles and military equipment”. Also on the 22nd of September, Garowe Online News added context to the attacks, noting recent “intensified ops involving airstrikes in south and central Somalia”.

Osman Omar, an open-source intelligence investigator, posted on X / Twitter, on the 23rd of September, that the Somali Air Force had “successfully targeted and neutralized an Al-Shabaab convoy” in the Gal-Gaduud region after a tip-off was received by the Somali National Army from a nomadic resident regarding the presence of Al-Shabaab militants in the areas of Balal and God Shilin. Omar stated that “Somali Air Forces swiftly acted, eliminating both vehicles and dozens of Al-Shabaab fighters”. There have been no reports of civilian casualties connected to the strikes.

While no sources directly implicated the US in the operation, the Somali government’s reference to airstrikes has in the past indicated US involvement.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    Somali Military Forces, US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    27

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Osman_estate
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Osman_estate

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

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

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    Somali Military Forces, US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    27

Sources (3) [ collapse]