U.S. Confirms Accidental Killing of Civilian in Somalia

Published by Matt Fishman on

The United States has confirmed that a February 2020 air strike in Somalia “caused the inadvertent death of one person and injury to three others”. One al-Shabaab terrorist, who was also killed in the strike, was the intended target.

Air strikes continue to be conducted by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) forces in Somalia as part of an ongoing campaign to disrupt al-Shabaab terrorists (an al-Qaida aligned group). The most recent strike took place just last week, killing seven terrorists.

AFRICOM reports that from February 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, they have “conducted 91 airstrikes”. From these 91 airstrikes the United States has received allegations of causing approximately 90 civilian casualties.

While the U.S. says most “allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated”, four incidents currently “remain open and under review”.

U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend commented that the Army does “work hard to prevent civilians from getting hurt or killed during these operations”, and “will continue to thoroughly assess all allegations”.