U.S. military denies civilan casualties in Bariire operation

United state on Wednesday denied the allegations of civilians killed in a joint operation at a farm in Bariire village of Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region in late August.

In a statement, U.S. military said the causualties from the incident were armed enemy combatants.

“After a thorough assessment of the Somali National Army-led operation near Bariire, Somalia on Aug. 25, 2017 and the associated allegations of civilian casualties, U.S. Special Operation Command Africa has concluded that the only causualties were those armed  enemy combatants,” the statement reads in part.

The statement further said U.S forces always carry out measures to reduce collateral damages during the operation.

“Before conducting operations with partner forces, SOCAF conducts detailed planing and coordination to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties and to ensure compliance with of Armed Conflict. U.S Africa Command and the Department of Defense takes allegations of civilian casualties very seriously,” U.S Statement underlined.

In August, Somali forces backed by U.S. troops launched an attack on Bariire village where ten people were reportedly killed.

Somali army chief, General Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid who recently resigned and Deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, Ali Nur Mohamed accused the foriegn troops with their Somali partner of killing civilians during the raid

Somali government downplayed civilian casualties during the raid saying eight Alshabaab terrorists were killed in the operation.

Following public uproar caused by the incident, U.S Africa Command said in a statement it was ” aware of civilian casualty allegations” and would conduct assessment into the situation.

“We take any allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and per standard,  we are conducting an assessment into the situation to determine the fact on the ground,” said statement on 25th August.

The bodies of the victims were buried ten days later after the relatives accepted launching an  investigation into the incident.