Pentagon Denies Reports of Civilians Killed in Somalia Strikes

AFRICOM cites secret assessments that claim no civilians were slain or injured

A new report from Amnesty International has warned that some of the people US airstrikes in Somalia are killing are civilians, and that the US may have committed war crimes in the course of this escalating campaign.

The Pentagon has quickly denied this, as they often do, saying that they have their own assessments that prove no civilians were killed  or injured. They did, however, insist those assessments are “not available to nonmilitary organizations.

Which means effectively that US African Command (AFRICOM) is relying on secret evidence to exonerate themselves of a crime they almost certainly committed, and offering not even nominal attempts at transparency.

This is only going to be a growing problem, as US strikes in Somalia are happening at an alarming rate lately, and at times AFRICOM has even temporarily announced that they were going to stop providing casualty figures on Somalia altogether, suggesting that what the US is doing is largely meant to remain secret, covered one strike at a time as the Pentagon claims them, if then.

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.