On September 28, in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted a self-defense strike against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-associated terrorist group, in Galcayo, Somalia.
During a Somali-led counterterrorism operation to disrupt an al-Shabaab Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making network, a group of armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked, threatening the safety and security of the Somali force. Somali forces returned fire in self-defense. The U.S. conducted a self-defense strike to neutralize the threat, killing nine (9) enemy fighters.
We have seen reports alleging non-combatant casualties as a result of this defensive strike. We have assessed all credible evidence and determined those reports are incorrect.
As with all such allegations, we take this one seriously. Once an allegation of non-combatant casualties is reported, we conduct a review of all available relevant information. The review includes all relevant and credible information provided from numerous sources, including reports posted to social media. If the allegation is initially determined to be credible, additional levels of assessment are conducted.
The U.S. remains committed to our partners in eliminating terrorism and advancing security in the region. Violent extremists endanger the safety and stability of the Somali people; countering these threats remains in our common interests.
(UPDATED as of 8:30 a.m. Oct. 3, 2016)