US Admits 2018 Somalia Airstrike Killed Two Civilians

Officials claim incident was 'isolated'

On April 1, 2018, a US airstrike against El Burr, Somalia, killed two civilians, according to US African Command (AFRICOM). This is the first time they’ve ever admitted to killing civilians within Somalia.

AFRICOM previously claimed five militants were killed, and now says four militants and two civilians were killed, adding it was “an isolated occurrence.” Yet while the admission is isolated, the occurrence is not.

In May 2018, US forces were reported to have killed as many as five Somali civilians. In August 2017, the Somali government admitted a raid involving US ground troops led to the killing of at least 10 civilians in a village.

Beyond those incidents, the US has carried out airstrikes in the middle of heavily populated residential districts, killing scores of people, and repeatedly insisted that they believed everyone slain must be a militant fighter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of