Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM318

Incident date

September 9, 2020

Location

Amreereey, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.42943, 42.715401 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

An alleged US drone strike killed 17 Al Shabaab fighters near Amreereey.

SNA, the Somali forces’ radio, said that the strike “was carried out in collaboration with the Somali National Army and its international allies, took place in Amrerey area of Jilib district in Middle Juba region.” It added: “The militants killed in the shelling were 17 as well as al-Shabaab’s chief of finance for Jubba regions, Sheikh Abdullahi Ali Adan.”

Halgan Media quoted the SNA piece and said 18 militants were killed in an apparent error. It suspected that US drones conducted the strikes.

In an email to Airwars, AFRICOM said that it conducted the last strike in Somalia on August 25th. However, a CIA drone strike remains a possibility.

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
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Amreereey area. A possible location for this area is the Mareerey area, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.42943, 42.715401. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed 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
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    17

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM317

Incident date

September 7, 2020

Location

IVO Janay Abdalle, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.02819, 42.287022 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Several militants were allegedly killed or injured by an Al Shabaab VBIED and subsequent exchange of gunfire near Janay Cabdalle.

The New York Times reported: “Three Somali military officers were killed and two others injured along with an American service member in a bombing in southern Somalia on Monday, the authorities said, the latest example of a deadly insurgency that has continued to wreak havoc in the Horn of Africa nation.

Officials in Jubaland State said an explosives-laden pickup truck exploded around 8 a.m. at a military outpost in the Jana Abdalle area in the Lower Juba region of southern Somalia. The attack came just days after Somali forces, with the support of American military personnel, reclaimed the area from the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab.”

Somali Memo, close to Al Shabaab, said: “Al-Shabaab said in a statement that the car bomb attack killed at least 16 US-trained militants and wounded 12 others.”

Caleb Weiss quotes another Al Shabaab statement saying “the suicide bombing killed and wounded 7 US soldiers and killed 16 Somali special forces.”

The AFRICOM statement said: “One U.S. service member was injured in an attack by al-Shabaab this morning in the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, Somalia. U.S. and Somali forces were conducting an advise, assist and accompany mission when al-Shabaab attacked using a vehicle employed as an improvised explosive device and mortar fire. The U.S. service member is in stable condition and receiving treatment for injuries that are not assessed to be life-threatening. It is also assessed at least one al-Shabaab fighter was killed during the attack.”

The incident occured at approximately 8:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–12

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Jana Abdalle, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.02819, 42.287022. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

The following statement is attributed to Col. Chris Karns, U.S. Africa Command’s director of public affairs:

One U.S. service member was injured in an attack by al-Shabaab this morning in the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, Somalia. U.S. and Somali forces were conducting an advise, assist and accompany mission when al-Shabaab attacked using a vehicle employed as an improvised explosive device and mortar fire. The U.S. service member is in stable condition and receiving treatment for injuries that are not assessed to be life-threatening. It is also assessed at least one al-Shabaab fighter was killed during the attack.

The U.S. regularly conducts advise and assist missions with Somali partner forces. The collective efforts of the U.S. and Somalia place pressure on al-Shabaab, limiting their ability to extend their reach and movement. al-Shabaab remains a dangerous enemy. Continued pressure is being placed on this Al Qaeda-affiliated threat to limit its ability to expand and export violence, terrorism, and crime more broadly.

Somalia Military Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Somalia Military Forces
  • Somalia Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Somalia Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–12

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM316

Incident date

August 25, 2020

Location

Saakow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

1.63938, 42.452171 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

One senior Al Shabaab member was allegedly killed by US airstrike on Saakow.

AFRICOM said in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab senior leader in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, on Aug. 25.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.

U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

Morad News, a source close to Al Shabaab, confirmed the death of the target and named him as Sheikh Abduqadir Kumandos.

SONNA said his name at birth was Abdikadir Osman Yarow. In an apparent contradiction to the AFRICOM report the SONNA statement said the raid took place “in the early hours of Monday.” It added: “The operation took place in Adad Gari village in Habibiyaal area between Dinsor and Bardhere towns.”

Garowe interviewed a Danab commander on the raid: “The officer further said the militants were holding a meeting at the vicinity of Saakow town, a notorious hideout for the Al-Shabaab when the raid happened.”

AFRICOM later confirmed that Kumandos was the target.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Saakow, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.63938, 42.452171. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab senior leader in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, on Aug. 25.
“Working with our Somali partners, we continue to weaken and degrade the al-Shabaab network,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, deputy director for operations, U.S. Africa Command. “Our efforts are increasing security and helping to disrupt al-Shabaab’s future plans and ambitions.”
Together with partner and international forces, U.S. Africa Command activities are designed to improve security conditions and prevent al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach.
The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires strong governance and providing economic programs and opportunity for the Somali people.
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces contribute to the training of Somali forces and use a range of effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people.
U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM315a

Incident date

August 24, 2020

Location

دار السلام, Darusalaam, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.92135, 44.78777 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Six Al Shabaab members were allegedly killed and three more injured by a US strike in combination with a US/Somali ground operation near Darusalaam. Local sources claimed US soldiers had been injured which AFRICOM denied.

A report from Halgan Media said: “US trained Somali paramilitary forces, commonly referred to as “Danab” carried out counter terrorism operations under the cover of US air power in the volatile Lower Shabelle province of Somalia.

The Somali paramilitary militia (Danab) carried out groups ops targeting outlining villages near the Al Shabaab controlled district of Awdheegle, which has been a Militant stronghold for a number of years.

During the ground ops, scores of militants where reportedly killed, while a large catche of weapons and logistical equipment was seized according to Paramilitary commander Ismacil Cabdimalik Macaalin, who spoke to the local press.

[…]

On a similar note, Ismacil revealed they received aerial support from there American counterparts, which led to the US carrying out a series of strikes targeting the village of Daarusalam. At least 10 suspected Al Shabaab militants where alleged to have been killed in this particular drone raid, Ismacil reveled.”

It later tweeted: “Three #US soldiers where wounded when there Military convoy struck a Roadside Bomb in the village of #Daarusalam in the Lower Shabelle province of #Somalia. The wounded Americans where rushed to the nearby #US drone base (Balidogle) for medical treatment.”

Somali Memo, like Halgan Media close to Al Shabaab, said seven Somali soldiers had been killed and one American wounded.

The AFRICOM press release responded to the claims: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces from a building in the vicinity of Dar as Salam, Somalia, Aug. 24.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the vicinity in order to advise and assist Somali partner forces. Al-Shabaab falsely claimed U.S. casualties. No U.S. forces were injured or killed during the attack.

Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed six (6) terrorists and wounded three (3) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrikes.”

Garowe reported: “Gen. Ismail Abdimalik, the Danab’s 60th unit commander, told SNA Radio that the army waged an operation at Daru-Salam area in Lower Shebelle killing several militants among them a “top Al-Shabaab operative” who is believed to be a trainer and an explosives expert.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    4–6

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Darusalaam (دار السلام), for which the generic coordinates are: 1.92135, 44.78777. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces from a building in the vicinity of Dar as Salam, Somalia, Aug. 24.

"Al-Shabaab is a dangerous enemy," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, deputy director for operations, U.S. Africa Command. "It is a danger to Africa and the United States. “We will continue to place pressure on the network and impact their ability to plan and execute these acts."

Al-Shabaab leadership has expressed its primary desire is to conduct attacks not just in East Africa, but against Americans and U.S. interests across the globe. International efforts and the persistent pressure placed on al-Shabaab helps contain the group's broader ambitions and desire to conduct attacks beyond Somali borders.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the vicinity in order to advise and assist Somali partner forces. Al-Shabaab falsely claimed U.S. casualties. No U.S. forces were injured or killed during the attack.

"Al-Shabaab routinely resorts to the tradecraft of terror, crime, and propaganda to intimidate and seek control of the local populace," said Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs, U.S. Africa Command. "Persistent pressure against the al-Shabaab damages their narrative, network, and plans for broader destruction and violence."

Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed six (6) terrorists and wounded three (3) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrikes.

As part of an international effort, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. interagency partners continue to help support Somali-led efforts to counter and contain dangerous terrorist organizations from exporting violence more broadly.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    4–6

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM315

Incident date

August 20, 2020

Location

IVO Kurtun Warey, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.61101, 44.330299 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

One Al Shabaab member was allegedly killed by a US airstrike near Kurtun Warey.

AFRICOM said in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting one terrorist in the vicinity of Kurtun Warey, Somalia, Aug. 20. The terrorist, who has a history of working with explosives, was making preparations to emplace Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on a public road.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and destroyed one motorcycle.

U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

VOA wrote: “An unnamed senior member of the group’s local bomb-making and IED explosives unit was killed in the strike, VOA was told by a senior Somali commander who was not authorized to speak to the media.”

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Kurtun Warey, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.61101, 44.330299. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting one terrorist in the vicinity of Kurtun Warey, Somalia, Aug. 20. The terrorist, who has a history of working with explosives, was making preparations to emplace Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on a public road.

“Al-Shabaab continues to put Somali people in danger by ruthlessly attempting to place explosive devices in public areas,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, AFRICOM director of operations. “These extremists continue to terrorize Somali citizens without regard for their safety.”

The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed one (1) terrorist and destroyed one motorcycle.

U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces use a range of effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people. Together with partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development while preventing al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach and further export violence.



U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM314

Incident date

August 8, 2020

Location

Sablale, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.251506, 43.807038 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

A high-ranking Al Shabaab operative was allegedly killed by a possible US drone strike in Sablale.

Mareeg reported: “A suspected US drone has carried out two airstrikes targeting high-ranking al Shabaab operatives in southern regions of Somalia.

[…]

The 2nd strike also killed a high-ranking al Shabaab operative identified as Ahmed Nour near Sablale town in Lower Shabelle region, according to Risaala.”

Somali Dispatch said: “Somali government officials confirmed to local news media in Mogadishu that Al-Shabaab leaders have been targeted.

Meanwhile, airstrikes hit Sablale, Lower Shabelle, and government officials said the target was an al-Shabaab official, adding that Ahmed Nur, a senior al-Shabaab member, was killed in that attack.”

In an email to Airwars, AFRICOM said it did not conduct the strike. This however leaves the possibility of a CIA strike.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Sablale, for which the generic coordinates are: 1.251506, 43.807038. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed 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
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM309-C

Incident date

May 17, 2020

Location

حرمك, Near Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.7928186, 43.3841839 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Six civilians were allegedly injured after a US airstrike near Kunya Barrow.

Somali Memo, a news outlet close to Al Shabaab, said: “Last night, Drone planes bombed a civilian residence in the town of Kunya Barrow.

Sources say several missiles hit the home and injure four civilians, including a mother and three children. The injured are recovering in a local hospital.”

Later Somali Memo updated the number to six.

Morad News tweeted: “BREAKING: Suspected #US drone strike reported in #AlShabaab-controlled town of Kunya-Barrow overnight. Several people injured including women and children – Witnesses. #Somalia”

AFRICOM stated in its press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, May 17.

The command’s initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed two (2) terrorists.

U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

In its civilian casualty assessment third quarter report AFRICOM said the incident was currently under review.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (20) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Picture of an alleged victim of US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Building allegedly damaged by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Halgan Media)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Munition fragement allegedly found after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Injury allegedly sustained from US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Damaged building after US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)
  • Chilld allegedly injured by US strike on Kunya Barrow on May 17th, 2020 (via Somali Memo)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike in the vicinity of Kunya Barrow (حرمك), for which, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The coordinates for Kunya Barrow are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Under investigation
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • May 18, 2020, USAFRICOM received five allegations from an online media source and social media accounts claiming either five (5) or six (6) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on May 17, 2020.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces


In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, May 17.
“The U.S. support to our Somali partners is and will remain strong,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command.
The command's initial assessment concluded this airstrike killed two (2) terrorists.
U.S. Africa Command currently assesses no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
“U.S. Africa Command affords our partners over-watch and added precision capabilities,” said Col. Christopher Karns, director of public affairs, U.S. Africa Command. “This enemy has no regard for the lives of innocent Somalis and the group presents a threat to the Somali people, the U.S., and interests abroad.”
U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use a range of effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development while preventing al-Shabaab's desire to expand their reach and further export violence.
U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM308-C

Incident date

May 13, 2020

Location

Araboow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Between one or two civilians were allegedly injured in US or Kenyan airstrike on Araboow.

Halgan Media reported: “A series of blasts rocked a rural town of Araboow overnight in Somalia’s Middle Jubba province. The blasts said to be a result of a barrage of missiles fired down on the Militant controlled town.

Sources that spoke with Halgan Media revealed US drones launched 10 simultaneous strikes targeting the town of Araboow. The strikes are said to have hit three mini buses parked at a transit junction in the town.

Two civilians where confirmed to have been wounded in the indiscriminate aerial bombardment, while three mini buses where nearly obliterated and almost unrecognizable following the strikes.

The civilians in the mini buses targeted in the strike are said to have departed the capital Mogadishu and where traveling to the Kenyan occupied Northern Frontier District (NFD). The group than stopped in the town of Araboow to break there fast for ‘iftar’ when they where besieged by US droned according to sources.”

Somali Memo said one civilian was injured and added that the strike could have been conducted by Kenya or the US.

AFRICOM denied conducting a strike on Twitter, which it reiterated in an email to Airwars.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (7) [ collapse]

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • May 12, 2020, (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming an unspecified number of civilians were killed as a result of a suspected U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Araboow, Somalia, on May 11, 2020. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or at the alleged location.

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, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    United States Armed Forces, Kenyan Military Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (7) [ collapse]