U.S. Air Strike in Somalia Allegedly Kills Two Civilians
The United States has been conducting airstrikes (1, 2, 3, 4) in Somalia, targeting al-Shabaab terrorists (part of the “al-Qaida-aligned terrorist network”).
Amnesty International, an independent group investigating human rights violations and ensuring governments respect international law, reports they have “unearthed evidence” that two U.S. air strikes in February of 2020 “killed two civilians, and injured three more”. To date, the organization claims to have uncovered “nine separate cases where US air strikes have killed a total of 21 civilians and injured 11 more” in Somalia.
At the time of the air strike, the United States said “they assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.” However, the U.S. does acknowledge “an April 1, 2018 airstrike killed two civilians” while “four al-Shabaab militants also were killed.”
Marine Corps Major General Gregg Olson of the U.S. Africa Command remarked “[i]f an innocent loss of life occurs, we are committed to being transparent and learning from this regrettable incident to prevent future occurrences.” As such, U.S. Africa Command will “issue a new quarterly report on the status of ongoing civilian casualty allegations and assessments… to increase transparency regarding civilian casualty allegations”.