US Says 24 ‘Extremists’ Killed in Somalia Airstrike

US strike carried out north of the capital city

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) issued a statement on Thursday reporting that a US airstrike on Wednesday in Somalia killed at least 24 “al-Shabaab extremists.” The strike was reportedly near Shebeeley, in the Hiran region.

The AFRICOM statement offered even fewer details than most of the scores of US strikes against Somalia, not even making the usual excuses of preventing al-Shabaab’s ability to act. They did, of course, say there were no civilian casualties.

This is the first major report of casualties following a bizarre pair of statements from Africom earlier this month, during which they announced that they would no longer offer death tolls in Somalia, and then just days later announced they would start doing so again.

US strikes in Somalia have tended to have little oversight, with the Somali government generally backing the official US assessment, and the rare times when Somali civilians try to report civilian deaths in such strikes they face an uphill battle getting any officials to admit to it.

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.