A woman and at least 2 children were killed in a suspected Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) airstrike on El Adde and Sakow towns in Somalia’s Middle Jubba and Gedo regions. The bombardment also caused severe destruction. The airstrikes prompted inquiries, calls for holding perpetrators accountable, and warnings of a broader impact on the civilian population and terrorist recruitment.
El Adde & Sakow, Jubaland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The precise military force responsible for the airstrikes remains unconfirmed. However, Somali Member of Parliament Mursal Khaliif has called upon Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately inquire inquiry into what he termed “recurrent KDF air raids in El Adde,” blaming the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Al-Shabaab, the extremist group operating in the region, also attributed the airstrikes to the Kenyan Air Force. They claimed that Kenyan planes fired two missiles in El Adde, destroying a district mosque and a house where people resided. Tragically, at least two children and one woman lost their lives. Others sustained injuries.
In Sakow, the Kenyan warplanes reportedly destroyed three houses and a civilian warehouse in the town’s centre. According to al-Shabaab, the warehouse suffered the most significant damage.
These claims have been circulated via al-Shabaab-affiliated media outlets, which cannot be trusted as reliable sources. However, the Somali Digest corroborated the airstrike with residents of El Adde, who confirmed what happened as well as the casualties. Moreover, disturbing images of injured victims, including children, have surfaced on social media platforms.
Not the first time
Even though Sakow and El Adde are under al-Shabaab’s control, indiscriminate bombardment of towns with civilian populations is unacceptable. It has counterproductive effects, enhancing terrorist propaganda and recruitment efforts, especially if it happens repeatedly.
Sadly, this was not the first time airstrikes targeted civilians, sparking controversy. In mid-July, the Kenya Air Force carried out airstrikes in El Adde, hitting residential areas and injuring several civilians. Moreover, a similar incident, in which civilians died, occurred in El Adde two weeks before this incident. The Somali Digest spoke with a resident who confirmed the airstrikes happened but also complained that al-Shabaab has prevented people from fleeing the town.