Pentagon Admits Somalia Strike Killed Allies, Not al-Shabaab

Pentagon Only Admits to 10 Killed, But Previous Reports Suggested 22 Died in Attack

A late September US airstrike in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Galmudug Province killed a number of soldiers with the provincial militia, according to the provincial government. The Pentagon is just now coming around to admitting that this was the case.

The Pentagon had initially presented the attack as killing al-Shabaab Islamists, but today conceded that 10 “local militia” fighters were killed and three wounded. They attributed the incident to a case of mistaken identity in a “self-defense” operation.

There are some holes in this story, not the least of which is that the province reported 22 soldiers killed in the attack, and the US only copped to 10 of them. The Galmudug Security Minister had accused the Puntland provincial government of lying to the US about the targets, something the Pentagon report did not mention.

The Pentagon report appeared to largely shrug the incident off, insisting the attack was conducted “lawfully” and insisting that no US forces were killed or injured in the strikes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of