Somalia: Reported US actions 2019

The timeline below contains information on all US drone strikes and covert operations in Somalia recorded by the Bureau in 2019. The Bureau derives its data from open sources – predominantly media reports and, latterly, the US headquarters responsible for the war in Somalia, Africa Command or Africom.

Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. The information below represents our present best estimate.

The Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has carrying out air strikes and ground raids in Somalia for ten years, though it has been conducting clandestine operations against al Qaeda in East Africa, and its local ally al Shabaab, since the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

JSOC are routinely deployed on the ground for surveillance, reconnaissance, and assault and capture operations. Air attacks began in 2007 with helicopters and AC-130 gunships – vast ground attack aircraft that bristle with weapons. In June 2011, the US began carrying out drone strikes in Somalia.

The US has been chasing leaders of al Shabaab, a local Somali insurgent groups, who had ties to al Qaeda. This therefore made them targets under the 2001 Authorisation for the Use of Military Force Act, a hastily drafted law giving the US president the right to target and kill al Qaeda and its associates wherever he might find them.

Al Shabaab as a whole has not been specifically targeted, the US says, despite, al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri announcing on February 9 2012 that al Shabaab had formally become a franchise of al Qaeda. In 2014 the frequency of US attacks in Somalia increased as the US started giving African peace keepers air support, targeting al Shabaab fighters who threatened the African troops and their US advisors.

The Bureau publishes a narrative timeline of US strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen each year. The 2018 timeline for Somalia can be found here, and all other timelines can be found here.

We also publish spreadsheets detailing casualty numbers in each country. You can download the entire Somalia sheet here.

US air and drone strikes Additional US attacks
Total strikes 46
Total people killed 299-309
Civilians reported killed 0-6
Children reported killed 0-1
People reported injured 0

Strikes

SOM164C link

14 July 2019

  • 0-15 reported killed

US air support were potentially involved in an operation to retake areas of the lower Shabelle region which killed 15 al Shabaab fighters, Radio Shabelle reported.

Colonel Mohamed Abdullahi Arale confirmed that the Somali National Army had retaken Yaaqbari Weyne, MadaxMarodi and Lego villages to state media.

According to Shabelle's sources the US were providing air support, but US Africa Command has not confirmed this.

Colonel Arale reportedly said that his troops killed 15 fighters during the operation and destroyed several vehicles that they were using.

We will reach out to US Africa Command for clarification of their involvement in this operation and update this post when any new information comes to light.

  • Type of strike: Possible US air strike
  • Location: Lower Shabelle region
  • References: Radio Shabelle

SOM164 link

25 June 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed one "militant" and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

"Precision airstrikes continue to put pressure on the al-Shabaab network and degrade its efforts to intimidate and terrorize the local population. These strikes damage the militants’ financial networks and inhibit their freedom of movement in the region," the release read.

SOM163 link

24 June 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in Jilib, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed one al Shabaab "militant" and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

SOM162 link

16 June 2019

  • 2 reported killed

The US military carried out two airstrikes targeting al Shabaab in Jilib, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strikes killed two "militants" and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

“With these coordinated airstrikes, we continue to degrade and deny al Shabaab’s freedom of movement in the region,” Air Force Brig. Gen. William P. West, deputy director of operations, US Africa Command, said in the statement.

SOM161 link

5 June 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting an al Shabaab fighter in Tortoroow, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed one al Shabaab "militant" and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

SOM160 link

4 June 2019

  • 6 reported killed

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

The strike killed six ISIS-Somalia fighters and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

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


SOM159C link

27 May 2019

  • 0-1 reported killed

Reports emerged of a possible US airstrike in Jilib targeting a senior al Shabaab security commander, according to VOA journalist Harun Maruf.

The journalist claimed on Twitter that "the strike could be significant if it turns out that the individual targeted is confirmed dead as a result of the operation."

No further details have emerged, but we will reach out to the journalist for further clarification.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Jilib district, middle Jubba region
  • References: Harun Maruf, Mareeg Media

SOM159 link

26 May 2019

  • 3 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed three al Shabaab fighters and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

This is the sixth strike that Africom have carried out in the Golis Mountains - against both al Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia, in the last month.

“The last few days presented opportunities to successfully reduce terrorist influence and activity,” said US Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Huston, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command.

SOM158 link

24 May 2019

  • 3 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed three al Shabaab fighters and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

"The Golis Mountains are a known area for al-Shabaab camps and ongoing fighting between al-Shabaab and ISIS-Somalia," the release further noted.

SOM157 link

22 May 2019

  • 2 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike near Baled Amin in the lower Shabelle region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed two al Shabaab fighters and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

"Al-Shabaab has previously used the rural areas surrounding Baled Amin as a staging area for attacks against Somali security forces and innocent Somali civilians," the statement noted.

SOM156 link

22 May 2019

  • 2 reported killed

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

The strike killed 2 fighters from ISIS-Somalia and Africom currently assess that no civilians were 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.

SOM155C link

17 May 2019

  • 20 reported killed

A suspected US drone has carried out double airstrikes in Somalia's Middle Juba region, killing 20 al Shabaab fighters, Mareeg Media reported.

A Somali military official who Mareeg anonymised, reportedly told them that the strikes were conducted in the Bu’ale and Jilib towns - with some top commanders among the dead.

Mareeg did not give a date for this strike so we have recorded it as the day that they initially reported on it.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Bu'ale & Jilib, Middle Juba region
  • References: Mareeg Media

SOM155 link

9 May 2019

  • 4 reported killed

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

Africom have assessed that the strike killed four members of ISIS-Somalia and that no civilians were harmed.

The 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.

SOM154 link

8 May 2019

  • 13 reported killed

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

The strike killed 13 fighters from ISIS-Somalia and Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

The statement further noted:

"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."

SOM153C link

6 May 2019

  • 16 reported killed

The Somali military have claimed that double US strikes near Jilib town killed 16 al Qaeda and al Shabaab fighters, Radio Risaala reported.

Quoting an anonymous military official, they said that the first strike targeted a vehicle carrying group’s chief of Intelligence Unit in charge of Mogadishu, Kahlid Aboukar Hassan while the second raid killed 16 other militants.

It was unclear which group Hassan belonged to.

US Africa Command have not published a press release for this strike, which they do with all strikes that they publically admit to.

We are unable to record this strike in our database of confirmed US strikes due to vague sourcing.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Jilib Town
  • References: Radio Risaala

SOM153 link

5 May 2019

  • 3 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Tortoroow, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The press release stated that three al Shabaab fighters were killed and that Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

It further noted that the precision airstrike was used in self-defence of Somali partners "after they were engaged by al Shabaab militants during this operation".

SOM152 link

26 April 2019

  • 3 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in the Golis Mountains, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The press release stated that three fighters from ISIS-Somalia and that Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

"This airstrike eliminated ISIS-Somalia members staged in a remote location in Northern Somalia,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, US Africa Command director of operations.

Garowe Online had reported that suspected US airstrikes had been conducted in the Puntland area. Their anonymous source claimed that the strikes hit two "hideouts of terror groups" in the vicinity of Timirshe. Six missiles were reportedly fired - four targeting an ISIS base and the other two targeted approximately 200 al Shabaab fighters at a nearby water well.

Garowe Online said that there were conflicting reports of the casualty numbers, with one local resident saying that "several militants" were killed.

A later Reuters report spoke to an witness who said that missiles struck two wells on the outskirts of Timirshe village.

"We heard the crash of four missiles on the outskirts of Timirshe village," resident Ahmed Nur told Reuters over the phone.

SOM151 link

19 April 2019

  • 2 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Jamaame, Lower Juba Region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The press release stated that two terrorists were killed in the strike and that Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

The statement further noted:

Two years ago, al-Shabaab maintained a level of freedom of movement that allowed the group to terrorize and displace Somali citizens in the Lower Juba River Valley, which is near Kismayo. Today, our Somali and AMISOM partners have pushed the extremist group back up the river valley, establishing multiple combat outposts along the way in order to ensure our partners can hold the territory they have successfully retaken.

SOM150 link

14 April 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Xiriiro, Bari Region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The strike killed Abdulhakim Dhuqub, a second in command of ISIS-Somalia who was reportedly responsible for daily operations of the extremist group, attack planning and resource procurement.

The press release further noted that only Dhuqub was killed and one motorcycle destroyed. US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

SOM149 link

11 April 2019

  • 2 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Garowle, Lower Shabelle region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The press release stated that two terrorists were killed in the strike and one motorcycle was destroyed. It further noted that Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed.

SOM148 link

9 April 2019

  • 1 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Jilib, Middle Juba region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

The press release stated that the one terrorist was killed in the strike and that Africom currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

For the first time, US Africa Command noted "when warranted, processes and procedures exist that allow for additional information to inform post-strike analysis" with regard to civilian casualties, adding a new layer of transparency to their reporting.

SOM147C link

4 April 2019

  • 0-1 civilians reported killed
  • 0-6 civilians reported injured

A suspected US airstrike hit a minibus carrying civilians, killing one woman and injuring six others, Garowe Online reported.

According to Garowe, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) thought to be American dropped the bomb in al Shabaab controlled Ukunji, around 100km southwest of Mogadishu.

The strike happened during a joint operation between US and Somali forces, claimed a source that Garowe interviewed.

US Africa Command are yet to comment on the allegation of civilian harm or report the strike. We have reached out to them for clarification and will update this entry when we have more information.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Ukunji, Lower Shabelle
  • References: Garowe Online

SOM147 link

18 March 2019

  • 3-7 reported killed
  • 0-4 civilians reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Awdheegle in the lower Shabelle region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

Three "terrorists" were reported to have been killed in the strike.

US Africa Command stated that they were aware of reports that alleged civilian harm as a result of this strike. They noted:

As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties.

We believe that these allegations of civilian harm came from a Reuters reporter who spoke to a relative of someone who died in a strike in Afgoye.

These are the only allegations of civilian harm that we have seen for a strike on this date, but it should be noted that Afgoye is 47km away from Awdheegle.

Abdiqadir Nur, an employee of the telecommunications company Hormuud Telecom died alongside three others at 04:30 local time as they drove through the village of Laanta Buuro, Reuters reported.

A later investigation in Foreign Policy by freelance journalist Amanda Sperber, suggests that at least one of those killed - and possibly two others - had no connection to terrorism.

Ibrahim Hirei had been driving back to Mogadishu with two friends on March 18 when his car was hit in an American airstrike. Hirei, who had spent the day in the village of Muuri inspecting his family’s farm, was killed, along with a second man in the car. The third passenger died later in the hospital.

“My innocent brother became a victim of that airstrike. Now we are struggling to manage the life of the family left behind,” Hirei’s older brother, Ahmed Hassan Hirei, told Foreign Policy in a text message.

Africom are thought to be still assessing the civilian harm allegations.

SOM146C link

16 March 2019

  • 22 reported killed

A joint US and Somali Special Forces air and ground offensive killed 22 al Shabaab fighters, according to Mareeg Media.

Military officials who asked Mareeg to remain anonymous told them that the operation was conducted in the Jilib Marka area.

Abu Sheikh Yasin Mohamed and Abu Mohamed Hamza, two senior al Shabaab commanders, were reportedly killed in the operation.

Mareeg did not provide a date for the airstrike, so we have recorded it as the date that they reported on it.

We are unable to record this strike in our database of confirmed US strikes due to vague sourcing.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Jilib Marka area, Marka town
  • References: Mareeg Media

SOM146 link

13 March 2019

  • 3 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Malayle, Lower Juba region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

Somali National Security Forces were conducting a patrol in the region "in order to maintain pressure" on al Shabaab. During this mission, militants engaged the Security Forces patrol with small arms fire, the statement read.

US service members were not present on the ground during the operation.

The strike killed three militants and US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were harmed during the attack.

SOM145 link

12 March 2019

  • 2 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in the vicinity of Huley, lower Shabelle region, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

US Air Force Brig. Gen. William West, said “precision airstrikes like this remove al-Shabaab militants from the battlefield and support our partner’s efforts to increase pressure on the terrorist network".

The press release stated that the strike killed two terrorists and that US Africa Command currently assess that no civilian harm occurred as a result of the strike.

SOM144 link

11 March 2019

  • 8 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike on March 11 that killed eight terrorists, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

U.S. service members were also present during the ground operation in an advisory capacity.

The press release stated that the strike was in self-defence and was conducted in support of Somali-led ground forces that came under attack from militants.

News site, Mareeg, reported that "al Shabaab has claimed to have foiled an attack by Somali forces, backed by US soldiers overnight".

Al Shabaab have claimed that one US soldier was killed and two others were injured during the "botched raid" - however the US deny this, stating that all US service members are accounted for and unharmed.

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were killed or injured in the airstrike.

SOM143Cii link

8 March 2019

  • 8 reported killed

A US airstrike as part of a ground and air operation in the Gambole area has reportedly killed eight al Shabaab fighters, according to Mareeg Media.

Anonymous regional officials told Mareeg that following a "brief gun battle" between US forces and al Shabaab, an airstrike killed eight of the fighters.

Al Shabaab have reportedly denied losing any members in the offensive.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Gambole area, south Somalia
  • References: Mareeg Media

SOM143Ci link

7 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

A possible US airstrike was conducted in the Bur Madow area, Bay region, according to Mareeg Media.

The report did not state how many were thought to have been killed in the strike.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Bur Madow area, Bay region, south west Somalia
  • References: Mareeg Media

SOM143C link

6 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

A possible US airstrike has left "scores" of al Shabaab fighters dead, according to local media source, Mareeg Media.

A regional official who asked Mareeg to remain anonymous, told them that the strike destroyed al Shabaab's base in Buzer, west Somalia.

The report did not state how many were thought to have been killed in the strike.

It is unclear who carried out the bombing according to Mareeg, although they have reported it as a "suspected US airstrike".

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Buzer area, west Somalia
  • References: Mareeg Media

SOM143 link

28 February 2019

  • 26 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Somalia on February 28 that killed 26 terrorists, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

US Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, US Africa Command deputy director of intelligence, said in the press release:

Precision airstrikes such as this one maintain pressure on al-Shabaab and disrupt its planning cycle and degrade its ability to mass forces and coordinate attacks against the Somali people

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were killed or injured in the airstrike.

SOM142 link

25 February 2019

  • 20 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Somalia on February 25 that killed 20 terrorists, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

US Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, US Africa Command deputy director of intelligence, said in the press release:

This precision airstrike successfully targeted an encampment from which al-Shabaab could stage, coordinate, and execute attacks on Beledweyne

The training camp that was targeted was used as a staging area to facilitate attacks on Beledweyne in the Hiran region of Somalia.

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were harmed in the attack.

A vehicle was also destroyed in the airstrike.

SOM141 link

24 February 2019

  • 35 reported killed

The US military carried out an airstrike in Somalia on February 24, according to a press release from US Africa Command. The strike hit approximately 23 miles east of Beledweyne in the Hiran Region.

The airstrike targeted armed al Shabaab militants as they were transitioning between locations in a rural area.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, US Africa Command director of operations, stated in the press release:

In the case of this strike, we interrupted an Al Shabaab attempt to mass their forces. Precision strikes eliminated a potential threat to our partners and to the people of Somalia well before the terrorists ever got themselves organized.

US Africa Command have assessed that 35 terrorists were killed in this strike and no civilians were killed or injured.

SOM140 link

23 February 2019

  • 0-2 civilians reported killed, including 0-1 children

The US military announced four airstrikes on February 23 in a press release from US Africa Command. One of these airstrikes occurred in Janaale, 75 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu.

"These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia," the statement read.

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were injured or killed in these strikes, but that two terrorists were. They did not specify whether it was the airstrikes in Janaale, or the other airstrikes that day that killed the two terrorists.

In an email, US Africa Command later stated that the two terrorists were killed in the airstrike that hit Kunyow Barrow.

According to Mareeg Media, however, al Shabaab claimed that one of these four strikes killed a 20 day old child and his father. Whilst al Shabaab did not directly attribute responsibility for these deaths to the US, the strike locations that they gave were the same as the ones in the Africom press release.

We approached US Africa Command for clarification on this. They still assess that no civilian harm occurred as a result of this strike, stating:

U.S. Africa Command is aware the article alleging civilian casualties resulting from the February 23, 2019 airstrikes in Kunyow Barrow, Awdeegle, and Janaale, Somalia.
As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will then determine the next appropriate step. USAFRICOM complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage.
At this time, we still assess no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.

SOM139 link

23 February 2019

  • 0-2 civilians reported killed, including 0-1 children

The US military announced four airstrikes on February 23 in a press release from US Africa Command. One of these airstrikes occurred in Awdeegle, 50 kilometres west of Mogadishu.

"These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia," the statement read.

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were injured or killed in these strikes, but that two terrorists were. They did not specify whether it was the airstrikes in Awdeegle, or the other airstrikes that day that killed the two terrorists.

In an email, US Africa Command later stated that the two terrorists were killed in the airstrike that hit Kunyow Barrow.

According to Mareeg Media, however, al Shabaab claimed that one of these four strikes killed a 20 day old child and his father. Whilst al Shabaab did not directly attribute responsibility for these deaths to the US, the strike locations that they gave were the same as the ones in the Africom press release.

We approached US Africa Command for clarification on this. They still assess that no civilian harm occurred as a result of this strike, stating:

U.S. Africa Command is aware the article alleging civilian casualties resulting from the February 23, 2019 airstrikes in Kunyow Barrow, Awdeegle, and Janaale, Somalia.
As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will then determine the next appropriate step. USAFRICOM complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage.
At this time, we still assess no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.

SOM138 link

23 February 2019

  • 2-4 reported killed
  • 0-2 civilians reported killed, including 0-1 children

The US military announced four airstrikes on February 23 in a press release from US Africa Command. Two of these airstrikes occurred in Kunyow Barrow, 250 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu.

"These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia," the statement read.

US Africa Command currently assess that no civilians were injured or killed in these strikes, but that two terrorists were. They did not specify whether it was the airstrikes in Kunyow Barrow, or the other airstrikes that day that killed the two terrorists.

In an email, US Africa Command later stated that the two terrorists were killed in the airstrike that hit Kunyow Barrow.

According to Mareeg Media, however, al Shabaab claimed that one of these four strikes killed a 20 day old child and his father. Whilst al Shabaab did not directly attribute responsibility for these deaths to the US, the strike locations that they gave were the same as the ones in the Africom press release.

We approached US Africa Command for clarification on this. They still assess that no civilian harm occurred as a result of this strike, stating:

U.S. Africa Command is aware the article alleging civilian casualties resulting from the February 23, 2019 airstrikes in Kunyow Barrow, Awdeegle, and Janaale, Somalia.
As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will then determine the next appropriate step. USAFRICOM complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage.
At this time, we still assess no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.


SOM137 link

11 February 2019

  • 12 reported killed

The US military carried out two strikes in Somalia on February 11, according to a press release from US Africa Command. Both strikes hit in the vicinity of Janaale, in the Lower Shabelle Region.

"The airstrikes on February 11 were executed as Somali forces were leading an operation in an area where al Shabaab conducts terrorist activities, as well as exploits the local populace for illegal taxes," it said.

The first airstrike killed eight militants and the second airstrike killed four militants, the press release stated. Africa Command said that they assessed no civilians were injured or killed in either strike.

However, al Shabaab has reportedly claimed a strike in the area hit civilian homes. They did not say whether any civilians were killed.

We have reached out to Africa Command for comment on this.

SOM136 link

8 February 2019

  • 8 reported killed

The US military carried out a strike "targeting al Shabaab in the vicinity of Kobon" on February 8, US Africa Command said in a press release.

"This precision airstrike was executed to degrade al-Shabaab capabilities, reduce the threat against Somali partners, and prevent al-Shabaab from plotting terror attacks throughout the region," the press release read.

US Africa Command stated that they currently do not assess there to have been any civilian harm.

AP have reported that the strike "killed eight al-Shabab extremists", however this is not in the press release from the US military. They did however later confirm this in an email to the Bureau.


SOM135 link

7 February 2019

  • 4 reported killed

The US announced two strikes in a press release. The first is recorded below. This entry records the second.

US Africa Command stated that the strike had killed four militants and that they currently assessed that no civilian harm had occurred.

The press release stated:

This precision airstrike was executed after our Somali partners were engaged by al-Shabaab militants as they conducted an operation to disrupt al-Shabaab efforts to illegally tax and intimidate civilians in the area.

SOM134 link

6 February 2019

  • 11 reported killed

The US announced two strikes in a press release. The first hit on February 6.

US Africa Command said that the strike killed 11 militants and "at this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed".

"Precision airstrikes such as these support Somali security forces efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism while creating opportunities for increased governance to take hold," the press release stated.


SOM133 link

5 February 2019

  • Unknown casualties

The US announced two strikes in a press release. The first is recorded in the entry below. The second hit on February 5. No casualty estimate was given.

"These precision airstrikes support Somali partners’ ongoing efforts to reduce al Shabaab safe havens, degrade the terrorists’ infrastructure, and destroy terrorist equipment," the press release stated.

SOM132 link

3 February 2019

  • Unknown casualties

The US announced two strikes in a press release. The first hit on February 3. No casualty estimate was given.

The strike hit Gandarshe, the location of a strike just two days earlier.

"These precision airstrikes support Somali partners’ ongoing efforts to reduce al Shabaab safe havens, degrade the terrorists’ infrastructure, and destroy terrorist equipment," the press release stated.

SOM131 link

1 February 2019

  • 13 reported killed

A US strike killed 13 al Shabaab fighters on February 1, according to a US Africa Command press release.

It was carried out in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shabelle Region.

The press release stated:

Al-Shabaab has previously used Gandarshe, 30 miles southwest of Mogadishu, as a staging area for attacks including vehicle borne improvised explosive devices that threaten the capital and its residents. On December 15 and 16, six U.S. airstrikes killed 62 al-Shabaab militants near Gandarshe, who were preparing for an attack on a Somali government military base in the region, and recently, a U.S. airstrike killed 24 militants in neighboring Hiran Region on January 30.

SOM130 link

30 January 2019

  • 24 reported killed

The US military carried out a strike near a "terrorist encampment location" in Somalia on January 30, US Africa Command said in a press release.

The strike killed 24 fighters, it said.

"The SNA [Somali National Army] and its partners will continue to effectively target terrorist training camps and assessed safe havens in order to deny al Shabaab the ability to build capacity and attack the people of Somalia," the press release read.

SOM129 link

23 January 2019

  • Unknown casualties

The US military carried out two strikes targeting al Shabaab militants near Jilib in the Middle Juba Region on January 23, according to a press release from US Africa Command.

While the command said no civilians were injured or killed in these strikes, they didn't include any details on other casualties. An Africom spokesperson told the Military Times those details are now up to Somalia’s government to share.

We asked Africom to explain this further. They responded with the following:

We constantly review our reporting practices to ensure we provide the most pertinent information available that resonates with US and international audiences. This review includes an analysis of what resonates with media in its coverage of US Africa Command through our press releases and interviews.
Because we are looking for better ways to communicate the strategic importance of our operations in support of our partners, we may not always lead with casualty numbers in our initial release. We also may be assessing the results of the strike and may not have complete information before we publish the press release. In those cases, we will provide casualty figures in response to query.

SOM128 link

19 January 2019

  • 52 reported killed

Over 50 al Shabaab fighters were killed in a US strike in Somalia on January 19, US Africa Command said in an email.

It said the strike was carried out in response to an attack by a large group of al Shabaab militants against Somali forces.

A Somali intelligence officer told the New York Times that the group had been amassing fighters for more than a week in attempts to launch a major attack against Somali and Kenyan forces and disrupt their planned offensive. The officer said some 400 militants, including foreign ones and suicide car bombers, had been prepared.

US Africa Command said it currently assessed that no civilians had been harmed in the strike.

SOM127 link

8 January 2019

  • 6 reported killed

The US military carried out a strike targeting an al Shabaab encampment on January 8th, a press release from US Africa Command read.

"The al Shabaab encampment served as a staging area for terrorists in the region," it stated.

Six members of the group were killed and a vehicle destroyed, with the command assessing no civilians were killed or injured in the strike.

SOM126 link

7 January 2019

  • 4 reported killed

The US military carried out two strikes targeting al Shabaab in Somalia on January 7, a press release from US Africa Command has said.

"The airstrikes were conducted in collective self-defense of our Somali partners after they were engaged by al Shabaab militants," it read.

Four fighters were killed, with the command saying that it currently assesses that no civilians were harmed in the strike.

It hit in the vicinity of Baqdaad, which Xinhua located in the Lower Juba region.

SOM125 link

6 January 2019

  • 6 reported killed

The US carried out a second strike in less than a week in the vicinity of Dheerow Sanle, in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region.

This strike hit on January 6, with US Africa Command saying it killed six militants and destroyed a vehicle.

"This airstrike was conducted to diminish al Shabaab’s freedom of movement and to increase pressure on the terrorist network in the area," Africom said.

“We remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, its forces, and its partners in the fight against al Shabaab,” Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg P. Olson commented. “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conduct precision airstrikes such as this to foil terrorist plans, eliminate al-Shabaab terrorists and reduce the enemy’s freedom of maneuver.”

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Vicinity of Dheerow Sanle
  • References: US Africa Command press release via email

SOM124 link

2 January 2019

  • 10 reported killed

US forces carried out a strike targeting al Shabaab on January 2, a US Africa Command press release stated.

They assess that the strike killed ten militants.

"This airstrike was conducted to diminish al Shabaab’s freedom of movement and to increase pressure on the terrorist network in the area," the press release stated.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Vicinity of Dheerow Sanle
  • References: US Africa Command press release via email