US Airstrike Kills 10 ‘Militants’ in SW Somalia

Africa Command: Strike diminished 'freedom of movement' for al-Shabaab

According to a new statement by US Africa Command (Africom), the US carried out an airstrike against Dheerow Sanle, in southwestern Somalia on Wednesday, killing 10 people whom they labeled members of the al-Shabaab movement.

Details were scant in the statement, which mostly read as boilerplate from the usual airstrike statements. None of the slain were identified beyond being militants, and Africom said no civilians were killed or injured.

They always say no civilians were killed in these statements, and it’s not always true. In general, civilian reports out of Somalia are slow to emerge, and likely won’t emerge for days, long after the official statement.

Officially, the statement said the attack was designed to increase pressure on al-Shabaab and to limit their freedom of movement across Somalia. This is the first US strike in Somalia of 2019, after 47 strikes in 2018.

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.