US Says Airstrike Killed 13 in South Somalia

Africom Says All Slain Were al-Shabaab Militants

US African Command (Africom) has issued a statement saying they killed at least 13 people in southern Somalia, in the area between Mogadishu and the Kenya border, and north of Kismayo. They insisted everyone killed was an al-Shabaab militant.

Such strikes have become increasingly common throughout 2017, as President Trump has given the Pentagon growing autonomy in carrying out strikes without White House oversight.

There was no independent confirmation of who was actually killed in the strikes, and while Africom insisted everyone killed was al-Shabaab, they always claim everyone they kill in Somalia to be al-Shabaab, even after they’ve been confirmed to be civilian bystanders.

Africom also insisted that no civilians were killed in the operation, which is again in keeping with their usual statements on airstrikes, as they generally don’t acknowledge civilian deaths in Africa, especially in Somalia.

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.