Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

Lib2011-097

Incident date

May 24, 2011

Location

باب العزيزية, Bab Al Azizia, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.871451, 13.172594 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between three and 19 civilians were reported killed and as many as 150 wounded following a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

Syria Libya wrote: “Tripoli is now exposed to bombardment and confirmed news of the wounded and the killing of civilians and Qatar pays the bill.”

RT showed images of the victims and said: “Tripoli reports three people were killed and dozens injured during twenty minutes of strikes.”

Nahar Net quoted the spokesperson of the Gaddafi regime: “At least three people were killed and 150 wounded in NATO raids on Tripoli overnight, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said.”

The Washington Post published a similar statement: “Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said NATO had targeted the headquarters of the military reserves, killing at least three and injuring dozens. He said that the casualties would have been higher except that the government had long ago emptied the headquarters, expecting that it would be hit.”

Reuters later published a report saying that the civilian death toll had risen to 19.

Libya History posted a video of the incident saying that one of the strikes targeted a mosque. It shows a hospital worker saying they have received more than 30 cases, three of them killed and that they remained unidentified. One of the injured said the strikes targeted Tariq Al Sour and the buildings surrounding it.

NATO reported hitting “1 Armoured Vehicle Storage Facility” and “1 Missile Storage and Maintenance Facility, 1 Command & Control Node.” in and near Tripoli.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 19
  • Civilians reported injured
    24–150
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video piece allegedly showing the strikes and victims
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    BBC Arabic video report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly killed by NATO airstrikes on Tripoli on May 24th, 2011 (via Libya First)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Bab Al Azizia (باب العزيزية),  for which the generic coordinates are: 32.871451, 13.172594. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In Tripoli: 1 Armoured Vehicle Storage Facility. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Missile Storage and Maintenance Facility, 1 Command & Control Node.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 19
  • Civilians reported injured
    24–150
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-096

Incident date

May 16, 2011

Location

باب العزيزية, Bab Al Azizia, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.871451, 13.172594 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On May 16th, 2011, NATO forced bombed Tripoli, including a hotel near the Bab al-Azizyah neighbourhood. Multiple sources reported the airstrikes, although it was unclear if there were civilian casualties.

Al Jazeera for example noted: “On Monday evening, NATO forces bombed civilian and military targets in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the nearby Qasr Bin Ghashir region, according to Libyan state television, while the rebels announced that they were planning to head towards the west of the country. Libyan State TV quoted a military source with news of the bombing, and saying that the strikes caused ‘material and human damage.'”

Abo Mohammad posted: “The Libyan regime TV reported that the city of Tripoli and the Qasr bin Ghashir area were bombed this evening, and reports from Al-Manara reported that three powerful explosions shook Bab Al-Aziziyah.”

NATO reported airstrikes “in Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Node, 1 Military Training Facility. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Surface-To-Air Fire Control Radar, 2 Land Based Air Surveillance Radars”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Bab Al Azizia (باب العزيزية),  for which the generic coordinates are: 32.871451, 13.172594. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Node, 1 Military Training Facility. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1
Surface-To-Air Fire Control Radar, 2 Land Based Air Surveillance Radars

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-094

Incident date

May 15, 2011

Location

قصر أبو هادي, Qasr Abu Hadi, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.059497, 16.658901 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One child was reportedly killed by a NATO airstrike on Qasr Abu Hadi.

The condolence page Sirte Martyrs published a picture of her mother commemorating her death four years later saying: “This is what NATO did with our children. Today marks the fourth anniversary of the martyrdom of the child Rayla Faraj Al-Bast Al-Gaddafi on 15 May 2011, who was described as a ‘martyr of terror’. She was martyred as a result of terror and fear resulting from the bombing of the NATO alliance.”

Other pages published similar posts.

NATO itself reported striking the following targets in the vicinity of Sirte on that day: “2 Surface to Surface Missile Launchers , 1 Self Propelled Artillery Piece, 1 Armoured Personnel Carrier.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Rayla Faraj Al-Bast Al-Gaddafi, allegedly killed by a NATO airstrike in Qasr Abu Hadi on May 15th, 2020 (via Sirte martyrs)
  • Funeral of Rayla Faraj Al-Bast Al-Gaddafi, allegedly killed by a NATO airstrike in Qasr Abu Hadi on May 15th, 2020 (via Sirte martyrs)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Qasr Abu Hadi (قصر أبو هادي),  for which the generic coordinates are: 31.059497, 16.658901. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Sirte: 2 Surface to Surface Missile Launchers , 1 Self Propelled Artillery Piece, 1 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-092

Incident date

May 13, 2011

Location

مرسى البريقة, Brega, Al Wahat, Libya

Geolocation

30.411123, 19.570076 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between 11 and 16 civilians were reported killed in a NATO airstrike on Brega.

Both the BBC and the Washington Post said that eleven clerics were killed in the attack, while Reuters noted that “Nine imams were among 11 people killed in a strike on a guest house in the eastern city of Brega on Friday, the government said. The other two were buried elsewhere.”

Libyan State TV was reported to have declared that 16 civilians were killed in the attack. And the Express Tribune added that 50 people were allegedly wounded.

Al Jazeera wrote: “On Friday, a Libyan military source said that 16 people were killed and 30 wounded in the NATO raid on a guesthouse in Buraiqa, when at the time of the raid dozens of clerics came to attend a celebration. On Friday, Libyan state television showed scenes of nine bodies with several injuries.”

Reuters and The Express Tribune additionally quoted NATO officials commenting on the allegation: “Command and control bunker was struck in Brega early this (Friday) morning, as the structure was being used by the Qaddafi regime to coordinate strikes against the Libyan civilian population.

We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur.”

The Eg-11 Blog posted the following: “A spokesman for the Libyan revolutionaries, Ahmed Bani, denied, on Friday, that any civilian had been killed due to the bombing by NATO fighter jets in the city of Brega.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 16
  • (9–11 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Brega (البريقة), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.411123, 19.570076. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Mar 8, 2012
  • The Marsa El Brega Residence and Command Bunker Facility served as the primary C2 facility for forces fielded by the 32d Brigade in and around Brega. It was deliberately targeted and struck on 13 May. During engagement of the target, it was positively identified and four precision-guided munitions were dropped. The strike was highly effective, and decisively degraded command and control in the Brega area. Battle damage assessment indicated no collateral damage. After this strike, an engineer who had been involved in the design and construction of the command bunker facility publicly confirmed that it had been constructed for Col. Gaddafi and had been purpose built for command and control functions.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Brega: 2 Tanks.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 16
  • (9–11 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-091

Incident date

May 12, 2011

Location

طرابلس‎, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.886602, 13.190912 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Six possible civilian fatalities were reported in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli at or near one of Gaddafi’s compounds.

Al Jazeera reported that “A series of explosions rocked early at dawn today in the center of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in the vicinity of Bab al-Aziziyah, the headquarters of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, after a raid by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”

Matelo0ove said: “Six people killed and 10 others wounded in air strikes in Libya: In new Libyan developments, a delegation of members of the National Council is visiting.” Other sources published similar accounts. However almost all media only described ‘people’

NATO itself said it had struck ” 2 Surface-To-Air Missile Launchers, 3 Buildings inside a military camp” on that day without admitting to any civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.886602, 13.190912. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Surface-To-Air Missile Launchers, 3 Buildings inside a military camp.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 6
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-090

Incident date

May 10, 2011

Location

العليا للأطفال وسط, High Committee for Children, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.898242, 13.206442 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On May 10th at 2am local time, NATO conducted airstrikes in Tripoli, injuring at least four children, with two seriously injured, according to two sources. Multiple sources confirmed at least three explosions, with one centred on the government building housing the Higher Committee for Children.

Al Jazeera said: “Reuters quoted Libyan officials as saying that four children were injured by flying glass, and two of them were seriously injured. Officials showed foreign journalists damage to a hospital’s glass, saying it was caused by the NATO missile strike.”

Akhbar reported the same casualty toll, citing Reuters as well.

A locally shot video shows a news crew walking through the rubble in the government building housing the Higher Commission for Children. Another shows the ruins of a residential area reported to have been hit by the airstrikes.

Agence France-Presse reported four explosions at 2am local time, followed by two more explosions. At least three explosions were confirmed by CNN. Multiple sources confirmed explosions on a nearby hospital as well.

NATO itself only confirmed airstrikes on “6 Vehicle Storages, 3 Ammunition Storages, 1 Surface-To-Air Missile Launcher, 1 Self-Propelled Anti Aircraft Gun” in the vicinity of Tripoli.

The incident occured at 02:00:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The video shows a news crew walking through the rubble of the building housing the Higher Commission for Children. Libyan authorities have stated that this building was completely destroyed by the airstrikes.
  • The video shows the bombings on what is reported to be residential buildings housing doctors. The Libyan government spokesman at the time, Moussa Ibrahim, told CNN that a hospital had been hit "indirectly".

Geolocation notes (5) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the building of the High Committee for Children ( العليا للأطفال وسط) being struck in central Tripoli (طرابلس). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 32.898242, 13.206442.

  • Reports of the incident mention the building of the High Committee for Children (العليا للأطفال وسط) being struck in central Tripoli (طرابلس).

  • Close up of exact location with evidence of damage.

  • Tagged satellite imagery according to audio-visual material from sources.

  • Tagged audio-visual material from sources.

  • Tagged audio-visual material from sources.

NATO forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Tripoli: 6 Vehicle Storages, 3 Ammunition Storages, 1 Surface-To-Air Missile
Launcher, 1 Self-Propelled Anti Aircraft Gun.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Known targets
    Gaddafi forces, Other

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM008-C

Incident date

September 14, 2009

Location

مدينة ﺑﺮﺍﻭة, Baraawe, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.112554, 44.028921 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to six people, including at least one possible civilian, were killed and at least two possible civilians were wounded, as a US-launched raid targeted and reportedly killed a high value al Qaeda/ al Shabab member, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, international media reported.

The attack marked the first known lethal operation by US forces in Somalia of the Obama administration.

In an operation codenamed ‘Celestial Balance’ US Special Forces launched a helicopter raid into Somalia, killing Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted in connection with the Mombasa attacks. “We’d been tracking him for years,” a senior military official told Sean D. Naylor, in the Army Times. “We knew his travel route, we knew the vehicles he was using.” Three options were initially mooted to Obama and his senior advisers: to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles from a warship off the Somali coast; a helicopter attack on the convoy, or a ‘snatch and grab operation attempting to take Nabhan alive. According to Klaidman “as everyone left the meeting that evening it was clear that the only viable plan was the lethal one.”

The US learned that Nabhan’s convoy would be setting off from Mogadishu to meet Islamic militants in the coastal town of Baraawe, the Daily Beast reported. As the convoy neared Baraawe, JSOC struck. A number of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment AH-6 Little Bird helicopters flew from a Navy ship and attacked the militants as they were breakfasting, killing six, including Nabhan, according to news reports, including Army Times. However, NPR reported that SEAL commandos fired missiles into Nabhan’s car.

The Army Times and Daily Beast stated that one helicopter also landed, with operators jumping out to load the bodies of Nabhan and three others into the aircraft, in order to retrieve Nabhan’s DNA. Following this operation, a Pentagon official told the Daily Beast that the US Special Forces wanted to increase their use of Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE), not just to kill terror targets but to rummage through their belongings”, but that “the president was not supportive” and that this became a bone of contention between Special Ops and the Obama administration.

It was unclear among sources how many militants exactly were killed, and whether civilians were among the victims. While both the Guardian and Long War Journal said that two people were killed (Nabhan and another terrorist), Mareeg, which also reported two deaths, only noted that one of them was a belligerent, suggesting a civilian fatality.

The number of killed militants thus spans from two to six, as reported by Army Times, while one civilian death cannot be excluded.

Several sources reported that the attack also wounded two people, whose combatant status again remains unclear among reports.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda in East Africa, Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–6
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was wanted by the FBI in connection with two attacks in 2002. Image via Kenyan Police

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a vehicle as it travelled through a village near Baraawe, heading south from Mogadishu. The coordinates for the town of Baraawe are: 1.112554, 44.028921. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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

TIME, September 9th, 2009:

"The deadly drama of piracy, terrorism and humanitarian catastrophe that is Somalia took another twist on Sept. 14. A squad of U.S. special operations helicopter gunships, which were launched off a Navy vessel in the Indian Ocean, attacked and killed an alleged al-Qaeda leader in Somalia, U.S. officials told TIME. The dead man was believed to be Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a 28-year-old Kenyan wanted for attacks on a seaside hotel and an Israeli airliner in 2002 in Kenya."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda in East Africa, Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–6
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM007-C

Incident date

May 1, 2008

Location

Dusa Marreb, Galgaduud, Somalia

Geolocation

5.536238, 46.384700 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least five and as many as 30 civilians, including children and one woman, were reportedly killed as US-launched missiles targeted and killed several top al Shabab commanders in Dusa Marreb, a Somali village near the Ethiopian border, local and international sources reported.

Around 3am local time on May 1st, 2008, US naval-launched cruise missiles struck the vicinity of a compound in Dusa Marreb, killing, among other militants, the head of the Somali Islamist movement al Shabaab, Aden Hashi Ayro (see also SOM001), which had growing ties with Al Qaeda. Some reports claimed an AC-130 gunship was also involved in the attack.

An American military official in Washington told the New York Times: “[A]t least four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-story buildings in Dusa Marreb, a well-known hide-out for Mr. Ayro and his associates. The military official and two American intelligence officials said all indications were that Mr. Ayro was killed, along with several top lieutenants, but the attack was still being assessed.”

Insurgent leaders had been meeting in Dusa Marreb, al Shabaab-controlled broadcaster Shabelle reported, putting the death toll at 15. A Shabaab spokesperson, Mukhtar Ali Robow, told Reuters: ‘Infidel planes bombed Dusa Marreb… Two of our important people, including Ayro, were killed.’ Sheikh Muhyadin Omar was among the dead, according to the Long War Journal and Africa Confidential. Residents said ‘several other Shabaab fighters and civilians were killed, Reuters reported. Half a dozen senior Al Shabaab commanders and Ayro’s brother were killed in the strike, according to Africa Confidential.

The civilian toll spanned from “several” to as many as 30 across the sources. Some reports put the toll at “at least ten”, while Africa Confidential reported that Ayro’s wife and children, and people from nearby houses, were also reported dead. Another local resident, Jamal Mohamoud, told AFP that he had seen eight bodies in the destroyed house.

Finally, The New York Times, citing local witnesses, reported that “as many as 30 people were dead and that residents were counting skulls to determine the number.”

After Ayro’s death, al Shabaab reportedly suspected the US had tracked him through his iPhone and had banned the use of similar devices.

The incident occured between 2:00 am and 3:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Wife of Aden Hashi Ayro Adult female killed
  • Child 1 of Aden Hashi Ayro Child killed
  • Child 2 of Aden Hashi Ayro Child killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 30
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–10

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Locals of Dusa Marreb walking through the rubble of the compound the day after it was hit by a May 1st, 2008 US missile strike (via Abdi Guled/ Reuters/ New York Times)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted residential buildings in the town of Dusa Marreb, for which the generic coordinates are: 5.536238, 46.384700. Due to limited information and satellite imagery 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

The New York Times, May 2nd, 2008:

"An American military official in Washington, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation, said at least four Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from a Navy ship or submarine off the Somali coast had slammed into a small compound of single-story buildings in Dusa Marreb, a well-known hide-out for Mr. Ayro and his associates. The military official and two American intelligence officials said all indications were that Mr. Ayro was killed, along with several top lieutenants, but the attack was still being assessed.
“This was in the works for some time,” said the official. He said American intelligence agents had been tracking Mr. Ayro for weeks through a combination of communications intercepts, satellite imagery and other intelligence."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 30
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • 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.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–10

Sources (12) [ collapse]