Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM345

Incident date

February 22, 2022

Location

Fiidow, Hiiraan, Somalia

Airwars assessment

At least 60 Al-Shabaab militants were reported killed in a declared US airstrike in support of Somali ground actions, at Fiidow village in Hiiraan on February 22, 2022.

Somali National Television reported that “over 60 Al Shabab terrorists were killed in a planned security operation conducted by #Somali National Army with support of airstrikes of Somalia’s security partners in Fiidow village of #Hiiraan region on Tuesday, SNA chief Ge. Odawa Yusuf confirmed to State Media.” The location and casualties were also confirmed by a government spokeswoman.

According to Mareeg, the Somali military stated that they had killed 60 militants, including their commander, whose name has not been released, in addition to also destroying the group’s safe houses, a so-called mobile court and explosive centers in Hiran region.”

The Somali Guardian also reported that militants claimed seven Somali government soldiers had been killed in an ambush carried out by Al-Shabaab.

The New York Times reported that the strike was carried out with an MQ-9 Reaper and followed an attack on allied Somali forces in Duduble, about 40 miles northwest of Mogadishu.

The New York Times also added details about the decision to carry out the strike, which “as in four previous attacks since President Biden took office, White House approval was not needed because the Africa Command has the authority to conduct strikes in support of allied forces under what the military calls collective self-defense.” However, “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation, an Africa Command spokesman said. Instead, U.S. forces were advising and assisting the Somali forces’ mission from a remote location, but the official did not say where that was.”

AFRICOM released a statement a day after the incident declaring that “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Duduble, Somalia, February 22.” While it stated that a battle-damage assessment was still pending, “the command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

AFRICOM cited both self defence, and the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as justification for the strike.

This incident marked the first declared US strike in Somalia by AFRICOM since August 2021. Five days before the action, AFRICOM commander General Townsend had visited US forces in Somalia – as unnamed senior US defense officials briefed Stars and Stripes that ‘U.S.-backed forces in Somalia are now outgunned by Africa’s largest terrorist group, raising concerns that a 2021 decision to pull out American troops and curtail airstrikes has helped the militants’ insurgency expand’.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    60

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Somalia National Television)
  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Somalia National Television)
  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Somalia National Television)
  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Somalia National Television)
  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Nasra Bashir Ali via Twitter)
  • US forces in partnership with Somali Military conducted airstrikes on Fiidow village on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by Nasra Bashir Ali via Twitter)
  • Statement from AFRICOM on US strikes in Somalia on February 22, 2022. (Image posted by AFRICOM via Twitter)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Duduble, Somalia, February 22.

U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

A battle-damage assessment is still pending. The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command forces take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to the U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    60

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMTr238

Incident date

December 15, 2021

Location

آل عوشان, Al Awshan, Ma’reb, Yemen

Geolocation

15.56779, 45.47923 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

At least one Al Qaeda member was killed by alleged US drone strikes on a house in the Hadba Al-Awshan area on December 15, 2021.

Yemen Anbaa News reported that a drone believed to be American killed an emir of Al Qaeda in an abandoned house in the Hadba Al-Awshan area. He was alleged to be returning from “fighting in the ranks of the [Saudi] coalition forces in one of the Wadi Ubaidah areas” and after he was killed, members of Al Qaeda removed his body “amid great secrecy” about his identify.

According to @18_ymany, the drone struck a house rented by Al Qaeda leaders who “came from Shabwa to reinforce the forces of Khain Hadi” without mentioning how many casualties resulted from the attack. Ali Al Nasi added that the house was rented two months ago by unknown people “believed to be coming from Shawba”.

A tweet a day after the incident by @mosher511 identified two Al Qaeda members who were killed but it is unknown if they were killed in the same incident. The two fighters were Rawha Al-Qaifi who was affiliated with Al-Bayda and  Islam Al-Tazir who was a member of the Malahem Network.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • two Al Qaeda members who were killed but it is unknown if they were killed in the same incident. The two fighters were Rawha Al-Qaifi who was affiliated with Al-Bayda and  Islam Al-Tazir who was a member of the Malahem Network. (Image posted by @mosher511)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention Al Awshan (آل عوشان), for which the generic coordinates are: 15.56779, 45.47923. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMBi003

Incident date

November 13, 2021

Location

حدبى ال عوشان, Hadba Al Aushan, Shabwa, Yemen

Geolocation

15.546025, 45.466297 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one person, identified as an Al-Qaeda affiliate, was killed in alleged US drone strikes on the Al-Hadba area in the Wadi Marib district of Yemen the afternoon of November 13, 2021.

A post from Hudhud Sabaa news alleged that a US drone strike targeted an Al-Qaeda affiliate from Al-Dhalea’s Al-Dhalea district in Hadbaa Al-Aushan. A tweet from @BdylJbrann identified the drone strike as killing one person but did not mention whether they were a militant or not.

A post from Maareb Al Izz also identified one person as being killed by US drones and added that he was killed instantly from the strikes.

In an email to Airwars on November 18th, the US military denied carrying out any attack, noting that “CENTCOM conducted its last counterterror strike in Yemen on June 24, 2019. CENTCOM has not conducted any new counterterror strikes in Yemen since.”

This does not however preclude actions by the CIA – which is known to have conducted at least three strikes in Yemen since that date.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Al Hadba Aushan (حدبى ال عوشان) area, for which the generic coordinates are: 15.546025, 45.466297. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM344

Incident date

October 7, 2021

Location

Garbahaarey, Gedo, Somalia

Airwars assessment

An unknown number of casualties among militants resulted from alleged Somalia forces with the assistance of US airstrikes/drone strikes on October 7, 2021.

Harun Maruf a journalist with Voice of America reported that the Somali military in collaboration with international security partners carried out airstrikes on four militant camps, destroying them. At the time there was no comment from @USAfricaCommand on the strikes.

Garowe Online added that there were casualties among militants without giving specific numbers. The other sources that reported on the strikes did not mention casualties.

Evelyn Tremble tweeted that “strikes most likely carried out by #USA military drones deployed in the region”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (4) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Somali Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMBi002

Incident date

August 24, 2021

Location

Yemen

Airwars assessment

Two alleged members of Al Qaeda were killed in US airstrikes in Yemen sometime before August 24, 2021.

According to a Facebook post from Mushir Al Mashrai, Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen mourned Rashid Al-Ghazali and his brother Abu Asim, who said that they were killed in an American raid.

A tweet from @GhalebM0nz1i7 reported that the death of the brothers was announced on Al-Malahim website, affiliated with Al-Qaeda terrorist organization in Yemen, and attributed their deaths to airstrikes from US warplanes.

While the death of the brothers was announced on August 24th, it is unclear when the strikes took place and/or when the brothers died.

In an email to Airwars on November 18th, the US military denied carrying out any recent attacks in Yemen, noting that “CENTCOM conducted its last counterterror strike in Yemen on June 24, 2019. CENTCOM has not conducted any new counterterror strikes in Yemen since.”

This does not however preclude actions by the CIA – which is known to have conducted at least three strikes in Yemen since June 2019.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has announced the deaths of "Rashid al-Ghazali" and "Abu Asim" who were allegedly "martyred by the American Crusaders." (Image posted by @IntelTweet)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM343

Incident date

August 24, 2021

Location

Cammaara, Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.264930, 47.914108 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

The brief recapture by al Shabaab of the strategic town of Amara on the morning of August 24th was reversed by Somali ground forces, assisted by a US airstrike. Up to 90 militants and five government soldiers were killed in the strike, according to the Somali government and state media.

Amara had been held by al Shabaab for more than a decade, until its capture by Somali government forces on August 3rd 2021 – part of a wider ground offensive in Galmudug State.

Beginning around dawn on August 24th, Shabaab had then launched a major operation to regain the town. It claimed to have killed multiple Somali government forces including elite Danab fighters. Among those reported killed was a senior commander named as Ahmed Abdi Micy. Al Shabaab also claimed to have captured more than a dozen ‘technicals.’

According to Reuters, “Residents of Amara in the Galmudug region said the morning assault started with a suicide bomb attack which targeted government special force units, known as Danab and Darawish… Asmail Nur, another resident, confirmed the attack and said al Shabaab captured 11 armoured vehicles and burned seven others.”

At 10.52am according to Sonna state media, an airstrike targeted Shabaab forces just outside Amara, as part of a successful government counter offensive. “This strike was successful and killed several al-Shabaab terrorists,” Sonna reported. As many as 90 Shabaab militants were alleged killed in the overall fighting.

Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf), a journalist for Voice of America, tweeted that “Somali army reports killing 62 Al-Shabaab fighters following Tuesday’s militant attack on Amaara, and subsequent air strike. State media reported 5 soldiers also died. Meanwhile, Al-Shabaab displays battle wagons and trucks it claims seized from Govt forces in Amaara.”

AFRICOM itself finally declared the strike that evening, though made no mention of specific casualties – either civilian or militant. Its official statement asserted that the strike had been ” a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab fighters engaged in active combat with our Somali partners in the vicinity of Cammaara, Somalia, on Aug. 24. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.”

The incident occured at 10:52:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    67–95

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • Amara in Galmudug, following an al Shabaab attack on the morning of August 24th 2021 (via Shabelle Media Network)
  • Ahmed Abdi Micy, a senior Somali commander reportedly killed by al Shabaab on August 24th 2021 (Via Mohammed Hussein)
  • 'AS militia forces tried to carry out attacks in the area in Amara has faced heavy loss. Zaynab has also pledged to press on the scene of a total number of 90 terrorists killed'
  • Image released by Somali National Armed Forces in association with an August 24th 2021 action at Amara
  • Image released by Somali National Armed Forces in association with an August 24th 2021 action at Amara
  • AFRTICOM statement on its August 24th 2021 airstrike at Amara, Somalia
  • "Al-Shabaab displays battle wagons and trucks it claims seized from Govt forces in Amaara. " (Image posted by Harun Maruf via Twitter)
  • "Al-Shabaab displays battle wagons and trucks it claims seized from Govt forces in Amaara. " (Image posted by Harun Maruf via Twitter)
  • "Al-Shabaab displays battle wagons and trucks it claims seized from Govt forces in Amaara. " (Image posted by Harun Maruf via Twitter)
  • "Al-Shabaab displays battle wagons and trucks it claims seized from Govt forces in Amaara. " (Image posted by Harun Maruf via Twitter)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Cammaara, for which the generic coordinates are: 5.264930, 47.914108. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab fighters engaged in active combat with our Somali partners in the vicinity of Cammaara, Somalia, on Aug. 24.

U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

A battle-damage assessment is still pending due to the ongoing engagement between al-Shabaab and Somali forces. The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command forces take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent civilians. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to the U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    67–95

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM342

Incident date

August 1, 2021

Location

Between Qaycad town and Xarardheere , Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

4.82888, 47.923205 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

In its latest actions in support of Somali ground forces, AFRICOM confirmed that it had conducted airstrikes on al Shabaab positions “in the vicinity of Qeycad” on August 1st.

Statements published by both the Somali Ministry of Information and Galmudug State referred to two separate strikes, which Airwars is therefore treating as separate events.

Galmudug State reported the following: “A strike targeted a military base housing al Shabaab militants between Qay’ad and Hareri-dere.”

Separately, the MOI stated that “At 1022 a.m. & 1101 a.m. air strikes occurred b/w Bacadweyne & Camara towns near Wisil town in #Galmudug State in support of a #Danab operation resulting in zero civilian casualties”. It went on to add that “The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabab firing position engaging Danab and SNA forces as they approached”. Airwars has treated the action between Bacadweyne and Camara as a separate event (USSOM339).

The US actions – the third and fourth in just eleven days – were once again in support of Somali ground forces fighting al Shabaab for control of towns and villages around Qeycad. According to AFRICOM, “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

AFRICOM also asserted that the command’s “initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.” There were also no known local reports of civilian harm.

Pro al Shabaab source Somali Memo tweeted on the Sunday morning that “Forces of the Islamic State of Mudug strongly defend Qeycad after air and ground attacks,” with a more detailed online report asserting that “Reports from the outskirts of Ba’adweyne area say that heavy fighting broke out in the early hours of today near Qeycad village. The fighting came after US-trained militias attacked the defenses of the Islamic State of Mudug between Ba’adweyne and Qeycad. Sources say that after an hour of fighting, the Ashamud militia were defeated and later returned to their base in Ba’adweyne. The report added that US drones had taken part in the airstrikes, but no casualties were reported.”

Somaliweyn also claimed that al Shabaab had attempted to retaliate against the US strikes: “Two rockets were reportedly fired at a fighter jet on the outskirts of Qaycad in Mudug region, where Somali government and Galmudug forces are also conducting operations.”

An image published by Radio Muqdisho on the day appeared to show an airstrike in progress.

In a followup statement, Sonna state media claimed the following day that the Somali National Army backed by Galmudug State forces had killed 200 Al-Shabaab militants in their ongoing military operations in Mudug region, destroying what were described as 16 “terrorist bases” and capturing four towns and eight villages.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Somali forces in the vicinity of Qeycud August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • An apparent US airstrike in the vicinity of Qeycud, August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • Official statement from the Somali Ministry of Information on the August 1st US strikes on al Shabaab

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area between the town of Qeycad and the boundary of Xarardheere. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these two locations are: 4.82888, 47.923205.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Somalia August 1.

There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM341

Incident date

August 1, 2021

Location

Between Bacaadweyn and Camara, vicinity of Wisil, Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.211400, 47.902792 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

In its latest actions in support of Somali ground forces, AFRICOM confirmed that it had conducted airstrikes on al Shabaab positions “in the vicinity of Qeycad” on August 1st.

Statements published by both the Somali Ministry of Information and Galmudug State referred to two separate strikes, which Airwars is therefore treating as separate events. According to the MOI: “At 1022 a.m. & 1101 a.m. air strikes occurred b/w Bacadweyne & Camara towns near Wisil town in #Galmudug State in support of a #Danab operation resulting in zero civilian casualties”. It went on to add that “The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabab firing position engaging Danab and SNA forces as they approached”.

Galmudug State also reported a strike elsewhere: “A strike targeted a military base housing al Shabaab militants between Qay’ad and Hareri-dere.” Airwars has treated this as a separate event (USSOM340).

The US actions – the third and fourth in just eleven days – were once again in support of Somali ground forces fighting al Shabaab for control of towns and villages around Qeycad. According to AFRICOM, “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

AFRICOM also asserted that the command’s “initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.” There were also no known local reports of civilian harm.

Pro al Shabaab source Somali Memo tweeted on the Sunday morning that “Forces of the Islamic State of Mudug strongly defend Qeycad after air and ground attacks,” with a more detailed online report asserting that “Reports from the outskirts of Ba’adweyne area say that heavy fighting broke out in the early hours of today near Qeycad village. The fighting came after US-trained militias attacked the defenses of the Islamic State of Mudug between Ba’adweyne and Qeycad. Sources say that after an hour of fighting, the Ashamud militia were defeated and later returned to their base in Ba’adweyne. The report added that US drones had taken part in the airstrikes, but no casualties were reported.”

Somaliweyn also claimed that al Shabaab had attempted to retaliate against the US strikes: “Two rockets were reportedly fired at a fighter jet on the outskirts of Qaycad in Mudug region, where Somali government and Galmudug forces are also conducting operations.”

An image published by Radio Muqdisho on the day appeared to show an airstrike in progress.

In a followup statement, Sonna state media claimed the following day that the Somali National Army backed by Galmudug State forces had killed 200 Al-Shabaab militants in their ongoing military operations in Mudug region, destroying what were described as 16 “terrorist bases” and capturing four towns and eight villages.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Somali forces in the vicinity of Qeycud August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • An apparent US airstrike in the vicinity of Qeycud, August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • Official statement from the Somali Ministry of Information on the August 1st US strikes on al Shabaab

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area between the villages of Bacaadweyne and Camara, both in the vicinity of Wisil. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these two locations are: 5.211400, 47.902792.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Somalia August 1.

There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]