Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM368

Incident date

January 25, 2023

Location

Almiskad mountains, Bari, Somalia

Airwars assessment

An ISIS leader and 10 of his associates were killed by a declared US counterterrorism operation in the Almiskad mountains of Bari region, Somalia on January 25, 2023. One US service member was injured during the operation when a dog bit him.

AFRICOM initially released a statement that “the U.S. military conducted a successful counterterrorism operation in Somalia.” The statement only included the assessment that no civilians were injured or killed, adding that “additional details will be provided in the coming days.”

The next day, the Department of Defense released a statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III that “On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation.”

During a Q&A with two senior administration officials, one official provided details that the operation took place in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia and resulted in the killing of 10 ISIS associates in addition to al-Sudani. According to the official, American forces were prepared to capture al-Sudani but “the hostile forces’ response to the operation resulted in his death”. The operation had been planned for months, including extensive rehearsals at sites “specifically built to recreate the terrain where the operation ultimately needed to take place” but mentioned that the Somalia government was “notified” of the operation, indicating that they were not involved and that they may not have been forewarned. Somali government security adviser Hussein Sheikh Ali stated that the death of al-Sudani was “very positive and welcoming,” adding that Islamic State was not as big a threat as al-Shabab in Somalia, but that al-Sudani was “dangerous”.

The same official reiterated that there were no injuries among civilians and that the only injury was to a US service member who was bit by their own canine. A reporter later pointed out that this senior official was the Homeland Security Advisor, questioning whether the operation target was a direct threat to the US homeland.

Another senior administration official described al-Sudani as supporting ISIS’s expansion and activities in Africa and beyond, including providing funding to ISIS around the world, specifically the ISIS Khorasan branch in Afghanistan. al-Sudani had been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2012 for his role in al-Shabaab before joining ISIS. Security researcher Dino Mahtani told BBC that al-Sudani was “an important figure in the attempt by this faction of Islamic State to build a trans-national network straddling Central Africa and East Africa and now with links down to Mozambique” and that his groups were also involved in weapon-smuggling. Analysts told BBC that the fact that US troops were sent rather than a less risky drone strike indicates the importance of al-Sudani.

All Africa News reported that “airstrikes” had taken place in the Almiskad mountains, which is an area where ISIS affiliates have training and hideout camps. This was likely reported prior to the US announcing their involvement. US officials declined to provide details on the service members that were involved in the raid. However, the New York Times reported that US Special Operations commandos carried out the operation, pointing out that the US troops stationed in Somalia were only there to provide training to Somali forces.

BBC pointed out that the raid came just a week after ISIS published a rare propaganda video from Somalia showing footage of clashing with Somali government forces in the mountainous radian in north-eastern Bari, the same area the raid took place.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation. We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM311

Incident date

July 21, 2020

Location

Timirshe, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.56245, 50.42396 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Seven ISIS fighters were killed by a US airsrtrike near Timirshe, according to AFRICOM.

The press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

Radio Dalsan said eight ISIS members were killed and two vehicles destroyed.

The strike was conducted in support of the Puntland Security Forces, according to Real Clear Defense: “Local reporting has said that the PSF engaged in a multi-hour gunfight with the ISS militants, which led to the supporting U.S. airstrike.”

After an exchange on Twitter with Rita Katz, AFRICOM conceded that one partner force sustained in injury in the incident, after initially claiming it had not.

Halgan Media later published details about one of the ISIS members killed in the operation: “The Somali-ISIS faction has released a statement of admission revealing one of there senior figures Khalid Jama Mohamed, better known as Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was killed in a US drone strike in the Bari province of Northeast Somalia.

The statement by Somalia’s Islamic State faction stated that the now, deceased Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was key figure in the Somali-ISIS faction, prior to his death.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was said to be of Pakistani orgin and was a former member of Al Shabaab’s media branch prior to defecting to the Somali-ISIS faction.”

Garowe said that the incident took place in the Golis Mountains and provided further information: “In addition, the Puntland forces confirmed that over 20 militants were killed following an airstrike and subsequent ground combat.”

The outlet added: “During the operation, Puntland said, two trucks and several explosives were seized by ground forces, with several other militants also surrendering to the security teams.”

It is unclear whether US special forces supported the operation on the ground and to what extent the Puntland Security Forces are supported by the US.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Screenshot of ISIS media outlet mourning the death of Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, allegedly killed by a US airstrike near Timirshe on July 22nd, 2020 (via Puntland Mirror)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Timirshe. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Timirshe are: 10.56245, 50.42396.

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 ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

"We continue to apply pressure on terrorist groups and assist our Somali partners in disrupting their operations," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, AFRICOM. "We continue our support to rid Somalia of the likes of ISIS and al-Shabaab."

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the area in order to advise and assist Somali and partner forces. Terrorist groups continue to resort to the tradecraft of terror and propaganda in an effort to intimidate the local populace.

"Mistruths and lies are the terrorist weapons of choice," said Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs, AFRICOM. "ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab have bankrupt narratives and visions of the future. Our partnership to unmask and degrade the capability of these terrorists is essential to security and stability in Somalia."

U.S. Africa Command continues to support the Government of Somalia by strengthening its security forces and promoting regional security, stability, and prosperity. Concurrently, the command is building enduring relationships and strategic alliances in East Africa to address looming challenges and malign activity by near-peer competitors.

The U.S continues to provide support to Somali efforts and counter violent extremist threats. The challenges in Africa will require African and international solutions. U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with our African partners.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM251-C

Incident date

October 25, 2019

Location

Near Ameyra and Timirshe, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

10.66599, 50.53527 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A US drone strike intended to target an Islamic State hideout near the remote Ameyra and Timirshe villages in the Golis Mountain region, killed two civilians and injured another, according to multiple local and international media sources. However in April 2020, AFRICOM insisted the targets “were ISIS-Somalia leadership and media operatives.””

At the time of the attack, multiple local tribal elders told Voice of America that the civilian men were out collecting frankincense.

One local elder from Timishe village near the target of the strikes, Sa’id Abshir Mohamud, said “men sent to the location of the strike brought back the dead bodies of two locally known villagers who went there to collect frankincense.” He also identified the two fatalities, claiming that one of them was mutilated.

“’The three of us went there to collect frankincense days ago. A missile surprisingly targeted where we were, killing the two other men. I ran through a dark smoke and the debris of the mountain rocks and crawled under a nearby mountain cave, then another missile was targeted at my location but the cave and Allah saved me. In the cave, I found out that I had sustained shrapnel injuries and remained there until midnight Friday. I am bleeding and I feel kidney pain,’ Mohamed Mohamud Barre said to VOA, claiming to be the survivor of the strike.”

While VOA couldn’t verify Barre’s claims, a “revered local traditional elder” backed them up, “He took his pregnant wife to Bosaso for medical care but he could not afford to pay the bills. He decided to go the mountains and collect frankincense to sell and then pay the surgery bills for his wife, who is carrying twin babies, one of them dead.”

The same local elder also went on to say that one of the men killed left behind eight orphans, and the other five.

Garowe Online, which reported when the men were still missing, presumed dead – said that according to residents, four missiles were fired by the US drone. Garowe also gave the location of the strike as the “vicinity of Cameyra area near #Timirshe village”.

“We first heard the noise of aircrafts flying low over the mountainous area, then four heavy strikes occurred within the range of about 15 minutes. Then, plumes of black smoke coming from the mountains followed,” one witness told VOA in their initial reporting of the incident.

US Africa Command confirmed a strike in the Golis Mountains region on this day, that they say killed three ISIS terrorists, having assessed that the event caused no civilian harm.

Senior Somali intelligence officials also told AP that the strike “killed three senior officers with Islamic State group-affiliated fighters,” as it targeted their vehicle. One was said to have been a notorious bomb expert. Radio Kulmiye, citing Somali military sources, said the victims were thought to be ISIS ‘officials.’

In April 2020, AFRICOM in its first quarterly civilian casualty report asserted the following: “After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On October 25, 2019 a kinetic strike was executed against three individuals which U.S. intelligence confirmed were ISIS-Somalia leadership and media operatives. Significant intelligence was compiled to clearly identify the nature and location of the individuals targeted. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the three individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that civilian casualties did not occur due to U.S. military action.”

Airwars has modified its assessment of this event to Contested as a result of AFRICOM’s statement, though the case remains open to review.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a hideout in a mountainous area near the remote villages of Ameyra/Cameyra and Timirshe, on the outskirts of Iskushuban district, 150 kilometers south of the city Bosaso in the Puntland region. Some sources report that it took place in the Golis mountains. According to sources Ameyra must be near the village Timirshe (10.56245, 50.42396), which is indeed around 150 kilometers southeast of Bossaso. The name Ameyra/Cameyra likely refers to a nearby settlement called Xamure/Hamure, for which the coordinates are: 10.66599, 50.53527. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The village Timirshe and Xamure near the town Iskushuban

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US 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
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • October 25, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming three (3) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on October 25, 2019. AFRICOM received two duplicate allegations of this incident from an online media source on October 27, 2019, and again on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On October 25, 2019 a kinetic strike was executed against three individuals which U.S. intelligence confirmed were ISIS-Somalia leadership and media operatives. Significant intelligence was compiled to clearly identify the nature and location of the individuals targeted. Strike images confirmed that the effects were limited to the three individuals. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that civilian casualties did not occur due to U.S. military action.

Original strike reports

US Forces

U.S. airstrike targets ISIS-Somalia in support of the Federal Government of Somalia
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS terrorists in the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on October 25, 2019.

By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyOct 25, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS terrorists in the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on October 25, 2019.

The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist activity. Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorists and support long-term security in the region.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed three (3) terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM240

Incident date

July 27, 2019

Location

Golis Mountains, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

11.060894, 49.184169 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The US military conducted a fresh airstrike on so-called Islamic State in Somaliland, reporting the next day that they had killed one senior member of the terrorist group in the Golis Mountains region.

“At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist who played a key role in facilitation for the group, asserted AFRICOM. “Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.  Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.”

“Airstrikes like these remain an effective tool in the counter-terrorist campaign against ISIS and al-Shabaab,” added US Air Force Brig. Gen. William West, deputy director of operations in a press release.

Air Force Times later noted the following: “In an email Monday, Col. Chris Karns, a spokesman for United States Africa Command, said that a July 27 airstrike in Somalia brought the total number of airstrikes in the African nation to 47, the same as 2018′s total. ‘The 47 for 2019 are all in support of the Federal Government of Somalia,” Karns said. “It is imperative that pressure is maintained on violent extremist organizations to create conditions for further political and economic development in Africa.'”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

In its own public reporting of airstrikes in northern Somalia, AFRICOM tends to cite only ‘the vicinity of the Golis Mountains’ – instead of the nearest settlement usually provided for elsewhere. The Golis Mountains extend from the border with Ethiopia into Somaliland, and then eastwards to Puntland. Given that both ISIS and Al Shabaab are reportedly present more in Puntland, or on the Puntland/Somaliland borders, it is likely this strike took place in that region. In this respect, and in combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point, for which the coordinates are: 11.060894, 49.184169. Due to limited satellite imagery, and public reporting available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

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 targeting ISIS terroristsin the Golis Mountain region, Somalia, on July 27, 2019.

'Airstrikes like these remain an effective tool in the counter-terrorist campaign against ISIS and al-Shabab,' said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. William West, deputy director of operations, U.S.

Africa Command. 'The Federal Government of Somalia and the United States will continue to disrupt terror organization operations and degrade their capabilities whenever possible.'

The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist activity.Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism and support long-term security in the region.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist who played a key role in facilitation for the group.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM231

Incident date

June 4, 2019

Location

Golis Mountains, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

11.060894, 49.184169 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting ISIS-Somalia in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release the following day by US Africa Command.

According to AFRICOM, the strike killed six ISIS-Somalia fighters, and was currently assessed as having caused no civilian harm.

“The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist camps and ongoing fighting between ISIS and al-Shabaab,” the press release noted.

No additional information is presently known publicly about this event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

In its own public reporting of airstrikes in northern Somalia, AFRICOM tends to cite only ‘the vicinity of the Golis Mountains’ – instead of the nearest settlement usually provided for elsewhere. The Golis Mountains extend from the border with Ethiopia into Somaliland, and then eastwards to Puntland. Given that both ISIS and Al Shabaab are reportedly present more in Puntland, or on the Puntland/Somaliland borders, it is likely this strike took place in that region. In this respect, and in combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point, for which the coordinates are: 11.060894, 49.184169. Due to limited satellite imagery, and public reporting available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

U.S. airstrikes continue to target al-Shabaab, ISIS-Somalia in support of the Federal Government of Somalia

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS militants in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on June 4, 2019.
By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyJun 05, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS militants in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on June 4, 2019.
This is the seventh airstrike in the last month against ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab in the Golis Mountains.

“We continue to put pressure on terrorist networks in Somalia to enable governance to take hold,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. William P. West, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “The Federal Government of Somalia and the United States will continue to take advantage of opportunities presented by the networks in order to disrupt their operations and degrade their capabilities.”

The Golis Mountains are a known area for terrorist camps and ongoing fighting between ISIS and al-Shabaab. Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism and support long-term security in the region.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed six (6) militants.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM226

Incident date

May 22, 2019

Location

Golis Mountains, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

11.060894, 49.184169 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting alleged ISIS-Somalia terrorists in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release issued by US Africa Command.

The strike killed two fighters from ISIS-Somalia it was asserted, with AFRICOM currently assessing that no civilians had been harmed.

“This is the fifth precision airstrike against ISIS-Somalia since April 14 in a deliberate campaign to limit and disrupt freedom of movement in the area and to eliminate leaders of the organisation,” the statement noted. “Our efforts to locate and eradicate ISIS leaders who control a range of Activities–from operations to financing and communications–is hitting at the heart of the organization and disrupting their ability to continue their terrorist activities.”

No additional information is presently publicly known about this event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

In its own public reporting of airstrikes in northern Somalia, AFRICOM tends to cite only ‘the vicinity of the Golis Mountains’ – instead of the nearest settlement usually provided for elsewhere. The Golis Mountains extend from the border with Ethiopia into Somaliland, and then eastwards to Puntland. Given that both ISIS and Al Shabaab are reportedly present more in Puntland, or on the Puntland/Somaliland borders, it is likely this strike took place in that region. In this respect, and in combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point, for which the coordinates are: 11.060894, 49.184169. Due to limited satellite imagery, and public reporting available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

ISIS-Somalia Degraded by Precision Airstrike

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS-Somalia terrorists in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 22, 2019.

By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyMay 23, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting ISIS-Somalia terrorists in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 22, 2019.

This is the fifth precision airstrike against ISIS-Somalia since April 14 in a deliberate campaign to limit and disrupt freedom of movement in the area and to eliminate leaders of the organization.

"Our efforts to locate and eradicate ISIS leaders who control a range of Activities--from operations to financing and communications--is hitting at the heart of the organization and disrupting their ability to continue their terrorist activities," said RDML Heidi K. Berg, director of intelligence, U.S. Africa Command.

The Federal Government of Somalia and partner forces continue to make inroads into territory where ISIS operates. U.S. Africa Command works by, with and through AMISOM and our Somali partners to reduce the threats they face to assist in establishing a secure environment in order for broader diplomacy efforts to come to fruition.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike killed two (2) terrorists. A detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released as appropriate.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM222

Incident date

May 9, 2019

Location

Golis Mountains, Puntland, Somalia

Geolocation

11.060894, 49.184169 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The US military carried out a “precision airstrike” targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release issued the following day by US Africa Command.

AFRICOM said it had assessed that the strke killed four members of ISIS-Somalia and that no civilians were harmed. “At this time, it is assessed the airstrike on May 9 killed four (4) terrorists.  A detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released as appropriate. Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.  Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.”

The attack came one day after a strike against ISIS had reportedly also killed 13 terrorists.

The AFRICOM statement further noted: “This deliberate campaign is building on increased intelligence and understanding of ISIS training and recruitment activities in Puntland, and is the fourth precision airstrike against ISIS-Somalia since April 14.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

In its own public reporting of airstrikes in northern Somalia, AFRICOM tends to cite only ‘the vicinity of the Golis Mountains’ – instead of the nearest settlement usually provided for elsewhere. The Golis Mountains extend from the border with Ethiopia into Somaliland, and then eastwards to Puntland. Given that both ISIS and Al Shabaab are reportedly present more in Puntland, or on the Puntland/Somaliland borders, it is likely this strike took place in that region. In this respect, and in combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point, for which the coordinates are: 11.060894, 49.184169. Due to limited satellite imagery, and public reporting available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Combining the information available from sources of alleged militant activity in the South-west and South-east of Bosaso, and several mentions of Galgala, we have chosen a generic middle point.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

ISIS-Somalia Degraded by Precision Airstrike

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 9, 2019.

By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyMay 10, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 9, 2019.

This deliberate campaign is building on increased intelligence and understanding of ISIS training and recruitment activities in Puntland, and is the fourth precision airstrike against ISIS-Somalia since April 14.

The work U.S. Africa Command performs by, with and through AMISOM and our Somali partners, whether assisting with the threats they face or training them to improve their capabilities, is geared toward one goal – establishing a secure environment in order for broader diplomacy efforts to come to fruition. The Federal Government of Somalia and partner forces continue to make incursions into territory formerly controlled by ISIS.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike on May 9 killed four (4) terrorists. A detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released as appropriate.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM219

Incident date

May 8, 2019

Location

Ameyra, 150 km south of Bosasso, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.56245, 50.42396 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release from AFRICOM.

The strike killed 13 fighters from ISIS-Somalia, in what was the third recent declared strike against ISIS. AFRICOM said it currently assessed that no civilians were harmed.

The statement further noted: “We are supporting our Somali and AMISOM partners with increased, mature intelligence sharing. There is a deliberate campaign underway, that is intelligence-driven, that capitalizes on what we learn during each operation and rapidly leveraging that information to drive the next operation, including discovering where terrorists may be training, massing, and preparing to commit atrocities.”

Local journalist Abdi Rahman Adani tweeted that the strike took place in the “vicinity of Ameyra village on Golis mountains in Bari region of #Puntland state.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted an ISIS-Somalia encampment near the remote village of Ameyra, 150 km south of Bosaso. A source unrelated to this incident (https://www.voanews.com/africa/villagers-us-drone-strike-somalia-kills-frankincense-collectors) reports that Ameyra is located close to the village Timirshe, however, due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the precise location of Ameyra. The coordinates for Timirshe are: 10.56245, 50.42396.

  • The village of Timirshe, located around 150 kilometers southeast of Bosasso (150 km radius marked in red)

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US Forces

Somali Forces & U.S. Africa Command Conduct Airstrike Targeting ISIS-Somalia

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade violent extremist organizations, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 8, 2019.

By U.S. AFRICA COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, United States Africa CommandStuttgart, GermanyMay 09, 2019

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade violent extremist organizations, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an ISIS-Somalia encampment in the Golis Mountains, Somalia, on May 8, 2019.

"We are supporting our Somali and AMISOM partners with increased, mature intelligence sharing," said Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command director of intelligence. "There is a deliberate campaign underway, that is intelligence-driven, that capitalizes on what we learn during each operation and rapidly leveraging that information to drive the next operation, including discovering where terrorists may be training, massing, and preparing to commit atrocities."

U.S. Africa Command precision airstrikes support Somali security force activities and build enhanced security conditions to allow time and space for governance and economic development to occur.

At this time, it is assessed the airstrike on May 8 killed thirteen (13) terrorists. A detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released as appropriate.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike. Our process and procedures allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM, and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13

Sources (7) [ collapse]