Allies Criticize US Airstrikes Hitting Wrong Targets in Somalia, Afghanistan

Somalia Wants Explanation for US Killing 22 Soldiers

With more and more US airstrikes not only failing to hit their announced targets but actually hitting the wrong people, the Obama Administration is having growing criticism and questioning about their policies, with the UN warning the US to adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law.

The UN warning came in the wake of a deadly US airstrike in Nangarhar, which the Pentagon announced killed a bunch of ISIS fighters, but which government officials later revealed actually killed at least 15 civilians and wounded 12 others. The Afghan government is already investigating and the UN is calling for an independent inquiry beyond that.

Somalia’s government, such as it is, also wants a good explanation for a US airstrike yesterday in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region, which once again, Pentagon officials bragged about as a “self-defense” strike that killed a bunch of al-Shabaab fighters, but which Somalia later confirmed killed 22 Somali soldiers.

That incident, according to officials in Galmudug, appears to have been the result of officials in rival Puntland, another autonomous region, calling in the strike and telling the US that the targets were Shabaab. The US appears not only to have launched the strike without checking with Galmudugi officials, but also publicly took credit for it before they bothered to find out who they actually killed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.