Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM015-C

Incident date

October 6, 2011

Location

Dolbiyow, 35 kilometers east of Dhobley, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.411441, 41.327456 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Four Somali farmers were reported to have been killed in a possible drone strike in Dolbiyow Village, 35km east of Dhobley according to Somalia Report, while one was reportedly injured.

The farmers and their camels were killed moments after al-Shabaab fighters fled the area in vehicles, witnesses said. However, a TFG official told Somalia Report that Al-Shabaab had instead mortared the village.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Archived Somalia Report claim via Wayback

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the town Dolbiyow, 35 kilometers east of Dhobley (0.411429, 41.008691). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of Dolbiyow. The coordinates for the area 35 kilometers east of Dhobley are: 0.411441, 41.327456.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM013-C

Incident date

September 15, 2011

Location

Kismayo, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.355651, 42.545703 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A single source reported that nine civilians died in alleged US drone strikes on Kismayo.

According to the source Antiwar.com, “Eyewitnesses in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo have reported a number of missile strikes, apparently fired by US drones in and around the city. Terrified residents say that several loud explosions were heard in the area.

“The militant faction al-Shabaab, which is in control of the area, says the drones hit on the outskirts of the town and killed at least nine civilians, including women and children. 30 others were reported wounded in the strikes.”

AFP reported that residents of Kismayo heard “the sound of aircraft and heavy explosions… We heard planes flying over Kismayo and minutes later there were at least three explosions,” resident Mohamed Ali told AFP by phone. “The aircraft fired heavy missiles into a jungle area where the Shebab established training camps, but we don’t know more,” Abdikarim Samow, another resident, told AFP.

Armed drones were operating from Mahe in the Seychelles (along with those used purely for surveillance), the Washington Post reported: “In the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean…a small fleet of ‘hunter-killer’ drones resumed operations this month after an experimental mission demonstrated that the unmanned aircraft could effectively patrol Somalia from there.”

Seychelles foreign minister Jean-Paul Adam denied the drones were armed. However, a 2009 diplomatic cable stated the US “would seek discrete [sic], specific discussions … to gain approval’ to arm the Reapers in the Seychelles ‘should the desire to do so ever arise”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–30
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–30

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a jungle or the outskirts of Kismayo. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of the strike. The generic coordinates for the city Kismayo are: -0.355651, 42.545703.

US Forces Assessment:

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

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–30
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    5–30

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-151

Incident date

August 25, 2011

Location

باب العزيزية, Bab Al Aziziyah, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.872127, 13.173331 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least 29 people were killed at a camp site outside the Bab Al Aziziyah compound in Tripoli on August 25, 2011 that may have housed a makeshift medical clinic and was alleged to be supervised by Gaddafi supporters.

According to BBC News, two of those killed had strips of green cloth, indicating that they were Gaddafi supports, but it is unclear whether they were killed by rebels or Gaddafi loyalists. Human Rights Watch says that four of the bodies were on hospital beds and the others were lying on mines.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    29
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Bab Al Aziziya (باب العزيزية) complex in Tripoli (طرابلس‎), the generic coordinates for which are: 32.872127, 13.173331. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the Bab Al Aziziya (باب العزيزية) complex in Tripoli (طرابلس‎).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    29
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-062

Incident date

April 7, 2011

Location

اجدابيا, Ajdabiya, Al Wahat, Libya

Geolocation

30.760665, 20.220516 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to 13 rebel fighters were reportedly killed either by a NATO airstrike in a friendly fire incident, or a Gaddafi regime strike, near Ajdabiya.

CNN posted on Twitter that “an airstrike killed at least three people.” The Telegraph showed a picture of three injured fighters. Meanwhile VOA said four rebels had been killed and 14 more wounded.

The BBC put the death toll at 13. It also mentioned that some rebels were contesting the strike was conducted by NATO: “Meanwhile, a different rebel spokesman said Thursday’s fatal air strike was carried out by pro-government forces rather than by Nato.

‘This was not a Nato air-strike; on the contrary, it was conducted by Gaddafi’s brigades using SIAI Marchetti SF-260 planes,’ Col Ahmad Bani told al-Arabiya television.”‘

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    NATO forces, Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–13
  • Belligerents reported injured
    14

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Picture of injured rebel fighters (via The Telegraph)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Ajdabiya (اجدابيا), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.760665, 20.220516. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    NATO forces, Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected target
    Libyan rebel forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–13
  • Belligerents reported injured
    14

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM009

Incident date

April 3, 2011

Location

Dhoobley, Gedo, Somalia

Geolocation

0.411429, 41.008691 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one militant and as many as “three dozen” were killed in an alleged US-waged airstrike in Dhobley, Jubaland, international and regional media reported. The attack marked the beginning of a concerted campaign in Somalia against al Shabaab by the Obama administration.

After a reporting gap of 18 months, US air attacks appear to have resumed. Reports of intense fighting for control of the town of Dhobley between al Shabaab and Somali forces mentioned an airstrike, which Shabelle reported had killed several militants. Somalia Report stated: “On April 6, shortly after the exploitation of data from captured al-Qaeda cell phones and laptops, three dozen al Shabab members were killed”, although later reports say only one commander was killed. Jabreel Malik Muhammed was killed in the strike, according to the Observer (Uganda).

The Long War Journal reported: “A recent report in Shabelle on the fighting in the border town of Dhobley in southern Somalia and the death of a Shabaab commander includes speculation that airpower is being employed against Shabaab fighters and commanders…Some reports suggested that during the battle, aerial strikes targeted Al Shabaab officials, killing number of Al Shabaab military officers.The Somali government and the African Union forces backing them do not possess aircraft needed to carry out airstrikes, but Ethiopia, Kenya, and the US do.”

In what may be a linked incident, All Africa reported two days after the attack that “Dozens of injured Al shabaab fighters from Dholey town, where fighting between Somali forces and Al shabaab took place one day ago, were brought to Kismayo town, about 500 KM south of Mogadishu. Sources confirmed Shabelle Media Network that the wounded Al shabaab fighters were admitted medical facilities at the center of Kismayo town.”

Somalia Report also asserted that “On April 6th shortly after the exploitation of data from captured al qaeda cel phones and laptops, three dozen al shabaab members were killed.” This may indicate a separate event several days later.

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
    US Forces, Ethiopian Military Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–36

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the border town Dhoobley, for which the coordinates are: 0.411429, 41.008691. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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

Ethiopian Military Forces Assessment:

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

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Kenyan Military Forces
  • Kenyan Military 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
    US Forces, Ethiopian Military Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–36

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-028

Incident date

March 4, 2011

Location

الرجمة, Al Rajma, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.071284, 20.342587 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to the Daily Telegraph, 19 civilians were killed after explosions in a munitions depot in Ar Rajma near Benghazi. It is unclear whether the incident was caused by an airstrike by the Gaddafi regime.

The Telegraph wrote at the time: “The cause of the explosions was not immediately clear, although most local residents ruled out an air strike by forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Gaddafi in an intensifying battle with eastern rebels fighting for his ouster.”

It added the following on the number of victims: “Doctor Mustafa Saleh al-Orfali said 17 people had been killed and another hospital official registered 26 wounded. Doctor Idriss Ghazali said two dead had been brought to the Houari hospital and 14 others had been wounded after witnesses reported the explosions at the Al-Rajma military base, southeast of Benghazi.”

In addition, the newspaper noted that “Walid Werfelly, 32, whose family lives in the Al-Rajma area said he saw two women dead at another hospital, after their poorly built homes collapsed from the force of the blast.”

Iyad el-Baghdadi said on Twitter: “Aljazeera now airing first footage from site of explosion. They say it was an air strike.”

The incident occured at 18:30:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    19
  • (2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the a base in the village of Al Rajma (الجغبوب), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.071284, 20.342587. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Gaddafi Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    19
  • (2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Gaddafi Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Libyan rebel forces, Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM002-C

Incident date

January 8–9, 2007

Location

Hayo, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.433798, 41.816058 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to international and local reports, up to 31 civilians, including at least one child, were killed as the town of Hayi or Xayo was subjected to either US or Ethiopian-waged airstrikes.

Heavy civilian casualties were reported in airstrikes on Hayi near Afmadow, 250km northwest of Ras Kamboni, and other parts of southern Somalia, in confusing reports which may conflate activity by US and other forces.

An elder told Reuters that 22 to 27 people had been killed, while a Somali politician told CBS News that 31 civilians “including a newlywed couple” had been killed by two helicopters in Hayi, 30 miles from Afmadow. “The U.S. military is ready to carry out more strikes, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports. But whether it does will depend on getting good intelligence on the whereabouts of any al Qaeda operatives left alive. A Somali lawmaker said 31 civilians, including a newlywed couple, died in Tuesday’s assault by two helicopters near Afmadow, a town in a forested area close to the Kenyan border. The report could not be independently verified.  A Somali Defense Ministry official described the helicopters as American, but witnesses told The Associated Press they could not make out identification markings on the craft. Washington officials had no comment on the helicopter strike.”

Mohamed Mahmud Burale told AP that at least four civilians were killed on Monday evening [January 8th] in Hayi, including his four-year-old son.

AP China Daily cited a US military official who said that “Tuesday’s strike was probably carried out by Ethiopia since the aircraft were identified as Russian-made Hind helicopter gunships like those used by the Ethiopian military.”

Ethiopia denied any responsibility, according to China Daily. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia and the US have been cooperating on intelligence, and that most of the information has come from the Americans. He also said the Ethiopians did not provide any intelligence that led to Monday’s airstrike.”

However, AP China Daily also referred to Abdirizak Hassan, the Somali president’s chief of staff, who said at least three US airstrikes had been launched since Monday  January 8th. Reports described al Qaeda operatives as the targets of the US strikes.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Son of Mohamed Mahmud Burale 4 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 31
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Ethiopian Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Xayo (or Hayo), for which the coordinates are: -0.433798, 41.816058. Due to limited information and satellite imagery availble 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

Ethiopian Military Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 31
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Ethiopian Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in East Africa

Sources (5) [ collapse]