Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM407

Incident date

September 23, 2023

Location

Elbur, Galgaduud region, Somalia

Airwars assessment

An unknown number of Al-Shabaab members, including top leaders, were reportedly killed by airstrikes allegedly carried out by the US and/or Somali military on Elbur in Galgaduud province on September 23, 2023. There have been no reports of civilian casualties connected to the strikes.

On the 23rd of September, 2023, the Somali Ministry of Defense posted a statement on X /Twitter that a “precision airstrike” had been conducted on a “meeting house” in the town of Elbur in the Galgaduud region. The statement went on to claim that the Somali National Army had killed key Al-Shabaab leaders including “their head of extortion and finance, Sahal.” Garowe Online stated that the individual killed, known only as ‘Sahal’, had been the group’s “finance and tax head,” while also attributing the strikes to the US military rather than the Somali military.

M.M.Dhoore, a former BBC journalist and the managing editor of SNTV (Somali National Television), London, released a post via X/Twitter on the evening of the 23rd of September stating that Somalia’s armed forces had conducted the airstrike using “recently acquired helicopters”. M.M. Dhoore’s post contained a photo of such aircraft.

Middle East Monitor News also reported on the attack, emphasizing the strategic significance of the town of Elbur and noting that it has been an Al-Shabaab stronghold for more than 15 years.

None of the sources gave a precise number of militants killed, with some referring to “several militants” killed while others reported “heavy casualties”.

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
    2

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @dhoorebbc

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
    2

Sources (6) [ collapse]