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Battle of Ras Kamboni

Battle of Ras Kamboni
Battle of Ras Kamboni Part of the War in Somalia (2006–2009) Casualties and losses Around 60 dead, 100 wounded in airstrikes[3]

Battle of Ras Kamboni, US & Ethiopian Airstrikes
Date Location Result January 5, 2007 - January 12, 2007 Near Ras Kamboni, Somalia Islamist defeat

The Battle of Ras Kamboni was a battle in the 2006-2007 Somali War fought by the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) and affiliated militias against Ethiopian and the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces for control of Ras Kamboni (1°38′20″S 41°35′17″E / 1.63889°S 41.58806°E / -1.63889; 41.58806), a town near the Kenyan border which once served as a training camp for the militant Islamist group Al-Itihaad alIslamiya. The battle began on January 5, 2007, when TFG and Ethiopian forces launched their assault. On January 7, 2007, the United States entered the conflict by launching airstrikes using an AC-130 gunship against suspected Al Qaeda members operating within the ranks of the ICU.[4] International concern and controversy arose over civilian casualties in additional airstrikes around Ras Kamboni and in Afmadow province, and whether these were the result of U.S. actions or Ethiopian aircraft operating in the area. The town finally fell to the TFG and Ethiopian forces on January 12, 2007.[5]

U.S. security concerns in the Horn of Africa, particularly at Ras Kamboni, heightened after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. On December 16, 2001, Paul Wolfowitz said the U.S. was meeting with various Somali and Ethiopian contacts to "observe, survey possible escape routes, possible sanctuaries" for Al Qaeda operatives.[6] On March 2, 2002 a briefing was held in the Pentagon discussing the possible use of Ras Kamboni by terrorist groups, including al-Ittihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) and Al Qaeda.[7] In December 2002, the U.S. established the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) to monitor developments in the region and to train local militaries in counterterrorism.[8] When Ethiopian troops

Belligerents Islamic Courts Union Pro-Islamist militias Foreign fighters[1] Commanders Sharif Sheik Ahmed Yusuf Hassan TFG: Barre Adan Shire Hiiraale Ethiopia: Abdirisak Afgadud U.S.: Timothy Ghormley[2] Maritime Security: U.S.: Patrick M. Walsh UK: Bruce Williams (CTF-150) Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Ethiopia United States


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entered the Somalian conflict in December 2006, a small number of U.S. special forces accompanied them to give military advice and to track suspected al-Qaida fighters.[9] On December 28, 2006, withdrawal of the ICU to Ras Kamboni was reported as a possibility after the Fall of Mogadishu to Somali TFG and Ethiopian forces.[10] After their loss at the Battle of Jilib and the Fall of Kismayo on January 1, 2007, ICU fighters split into different groups, with some heading northwest towards Dhobley (0°24′35″N 41°0′21″E / 0.40972°N 41.00583°E / 0.40972; 41.00583) and Afmadow,[11] others moving to the remote, hilly areas of Buur Gaabo, and the remainder withdrawing southwest towards the peninsula town of Ras Kamboni.[12] On January 2, 2007, Ethiopian MiG jets began to patrol over Ras Kamboni but no attacks were reported.[13] U.S. Marines operating from Lamu, Kenya, were said to be assisting Kenyan forces patrolling the border with Somalia to intercept Islamists.[14] Unknown gunmen thought to be Somali Islamists fired shots at a Kenyan security helicopter patrolling near the border with Somalia. The helicopter was flying over the southeastern Kenyan border town of Hulugho. The report did not say if the aircraft was damaged but said gunmen fired small arms from the region of Ras Kamboni, the base for the fleeing Islamists.[15] The United States Fifth Fleet’s Carrier Strike Group 8, along with the British-led multinational maritime task force, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150),[16][17] based out of Bahrain[18] are patrolling off the Somali coast to prevent terrorists from launching an "attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material", said Commander Kevin Aandahl.[19] The U.S. ships deployed to the area include the USS Ramage guided missile destroyer, the USS Bunker Hill and USS Anzio guided missile cruisers, the USS Ashland amphibious landing ship and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.[20][9]

Battle of Ras Kamboni
use infantry troops and fighter jets... They have dug huge trenches around Ras Kamboni but have only two options: to drown in the sea or to fight and die."[21]

January 6
Fighting continued January 6 in the forests south of Kismayo near the Kenyan border, where it was reported the Islamists were holding out armed with over 100 technicals.[22]

January 8

January 5
On January 5, 2007, TFG Defense Minister Colonel Barre Aden Shirre Hiiraale announced: "Today we will launch a massive assault on the Islamic courts militias. We will

On January 8, 2007, Col. Hiraale announced TFG and Ethiopian forces were close to entering Ras Kamboni after two days of fierce battles.[23] Premature reports came of the fall of Ras Kamboni. One was from TFG member Abdirashid Hidig.[24] A second came from a TFG military divisional commander, Abdirisak Afgadud (alternately spelled Abdulrasaq Afgebub): "Our forces accompanied by our Ethiopian friends have totally cracked down on the remnants of the Islamists in the border area."[25][26] Defense Minister Hiraale corrected and clarified the reports, saying fighting was ongoing. 50 wounded Ethiopian troops were reported evacuated by helicopter.[27] To the north of Ras Kamboni, elsewhere in Badhadhe province, an Ethiopian force


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intercepted Islamist forces in the area of the Kenyan border town of Amuma, Garissa district. Seven vehicles were destroyed. A platoon of Kenyan border police were in the area to enforce the border closure.[28] In Afmadow province, Ethiopia launched airstrikes against targets near Afmadow and Dhobley.[11] Also on January 8, it was reported that an AC-130 gunship belonging to the United States military had attacked a suspected AlQaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island (possibly the island located at 1°36′42″S 41°36′42″E / 1.61167°S 41.61167°E / -1.61167; 41.61167) near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia the day before (January 7).[4] The aircraft flew out of its base in Djibouti. The U.S. reported 8 - 10 deaths, mostly Somalis, but the identity of the dead or wounded was not yet established. Reports said DNA testing was being done to establish identities but U.S. sources denied that the top al-Qaida targets were among those killed.[9] "The U.S. were trying to kill the al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out the bomb attacks on their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania", Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed told The Associated Press. "They have our full support for the attacks."[29] The targeted leaders were tracked by the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as they headed south from Mogadishu starting on December 28.[30] It was also reported the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had been moved into striking distance.[31]

Battle of Ras Kamboni
may have been Ethiopian Mi-24 Hinds.[34] This would not have been the first case of offtarget airstrikes for the Ethiopian attack helicopters. On January 3, they had attacked Harehare village, across the Kenyan border, mistaking it for Islamist positions at the town of Dhobley.[35]

January 10
On January 10, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman framed Somalia as part of the war on terror: "As we pursue the war on terror we will seek out, attempt to identify, locate, capture and if necessary kill terrorists and to thwart their activities."[36] A second planned attack was reportedly called off after losing track of the target.[37] Also on this day, a pair of reports arose which were covered widely in the media, but later contradicted by U.S. sources. The first was a report by Somali presidential chief of staff, Abdirizak Hassan, who stated the U.S. airstrikes had killed Al Qaeda member Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, and leaders of the Islamic Courts Union including Abduallahi Moalim Ali (former chief of security for Mogadishu), Abdirahman Janaqow, and a third unidentified person. The bodies had reportedly been recovered by Ethiopian military personnel.[38] This report was refuted the next day by a confidential U.S. source, who said the hunt for the three Al Qaeda members continues, though it was not mentioned whether the other ICU leaders mentioned were alive or dead.[39] The second report mentioned at least four more AC-130 airstrikes targeted Ras Kamboni. Other sites were also said to have been targeted by U.S. aircraft around southern Somalia. Somali politician Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig toured the area by helicopter and spoke of 50 killed in the attacks. He said additional targets hit include Hayo, Garer, Bankajirow and Badmadowe. Clan elder Haji Farah Qorshel claimed 64 people were killed and 100 wounded around Afmadow in three days of attacks.[3] However, confidential sources denied the additional attacks were made by the U.S. Ethiopian aircraft are also known to be operating in the combat area.[40]

January 9
On January 9, a second AC-130 strike was reported at Hayo (also Xayo or Hayi, approx. Lat 0º28’ N, Long 41º49’ E) on the road between the provincial capital of Afmadow and Dhobley (Doble) near the Kenyan border. Later more reports stated that more than 50, mostly Islamist leaders, have died in U.S. air strikes.[32] A strike by two unidentified attack helicopters was also reported hitting near Afmadow (0°30′56″N 42°4′24″E / 0.51556°N 42.07333°E / 0.51556; 42.07333). Somali Defense Ministry personnel stated this was a third U.S. attack, but eyewitness accounts could not establish the nationality of the helicopters. Unconfirmed reports claimed the attacks killed 31 civilians.[33] It was later asserted by a U.S. military official the helicopters

January 11
On January 11, the American ambassador to Kenya said that the U.S. claimed Al-Qaeda


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suspect Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was actually still alive and that none of the Al-Qaeda members were killed in the air attack but some members of the ICU were killed.[41] Later in the day, anonymous U.S. sources stated that U.S. forces were on the ground in Somalia investigating the identity of the persons who had been killed in the gunship attack.[42] • Somali Civil War (2006 period) • Factions in the Somali Civil War Political: • Anarchy in Somalia • Greater Somalia • Diplomatic and humanitarian efforts in the Somali Civil War • Propaganda in the War in Somalia • Disarmament in Somalia • 2007 Somali National Reconciliation Conference

Battle of Ras Kamboni
• Fall of Mogadishu • Battle of Jilib Timeline: 2007 • Fall of Kismayo • Battle of Ras Kamboni • US airstrikes • Battle of Mogadishu (March–April 2007) • Bargal raid • Battle of Mogadishu (November 2007) Timeline: 2008 • Bosaso bombings • Dobley airstrike • Battle of Mogadishu (2008) • Dhusamareb airstrike Timeline: 2009 • Siege of Baidoa Continuation of the conflict: • War in Somalia (2009–) • al-Itihaad al-Islamiya • Hasan Hersi • Hizbul Shabaab • Mukhtar Robow • Adan Ayrow • ARPCT • Abdi Hasan Awale • Mohamed Omar Habeb

January 12
On January 12, TFG Defense Minister Barre Aden Shirre Hiiraale announced Ras Kamboni had fallen to the Somali government and Ethiopian forces after five days of heavy fighting. Remnants of the Islamist forces were being pursued into the nearby forests and fighting would continue.[5] A small team of U.S. forces investigated the site of the U.S. gunship attack to search for information about the identity and fate of the targeted individuals.[43]

• Transitional Federal Parliament • Ali Mohammed Ghedi • Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed • Puntland • Mohamud Muse Hersi • Galmudug • Mohamed Warsame Ali • United States • Jendayi Frazer • AMISOM • Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

January 17
Theresa Whelan, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs, in a press conference said she believed the raid killed eight soldiers of Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, head of an Islamist militia. Ayro was believed to have been wounded in the attack and perhaps killed.[44]

See also
• List of military strikes against presumed terrorist targets • Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa War in Somalia (2006–2009) Background Military: • EthiopianSomali conflict • Insurgency in Ogaden • Operation Enduring Freedom Horn of Africa Events Timeline: 2006 • Battle of Baidoa • Battle of Bandiradley • Battle of Beledweyne • Ethiopian airstrikes • Battle of Jowhar Key players •

Ethiopia • Meles Zenawi • Gabre[1] "Former Members of Radical Somali Group Give Details of Their Group". Heard • Islamic Voice of America. 2007-01-07. Courts Union • Hassan 2007-01-06-voa25.cfm. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. Dahir [2] "Clash of agendas". The Guardian. Aweys 2007-01-09. • Sharif worldbriefing/story/ Ahmed



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0,,1986303,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=12. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. [3] ^ "al-Qaida Chief in Somalia May Be Dead". Associated Press. 2007-01-10. story/0,,-6336285,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. [4] ^ "Aircraft Attack Al Qaeda Haven, Ike Moves off Somalia". American Forces Press Service. 2007-01-09. NewsArticle.aspx?id=2625. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. [5] ^ "Islamic hideout in Somalia said captured". Associated Press. 2007-01-12. world/4466900.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-12. [6] "U.S. returning to a nightmare called Somalia". San Francisco Chronicle. 2001-12-16. MN115486.DTL. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [7] United States Department of State (2002-03-08). Terrorist Threat in Horn of Africa. Press release. 8801.htm Terrorist. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. [8] "Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa". agency/dod/cjtf-hoa.htm. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. [9] ^ "Al-Qaida suspects still alive in Somalia". AP. January 11, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. [10] "Somalia: ICU hardliners left Mogadishu to unknown location". Shabelle Media Networks. 2006-12-28. Somalia/6249. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [11] ^ "Ethiopian fighter jets bomb southern Somalia". Shabelle Media Networks. 2007-01-08. news/ne2031.htm. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [12] "Somali Islamists on the run". Reuters. 2007-01-02. story/LAC.20070102.SOMALIA02/ TPStory/TPInternational/Africa/. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.

Battle of Ras Kamboni

[13] "Islamic militants wedged against the sea". Associated Press. 2007-01-02. Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_Bas Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [14] "Kibaki meets Somalia president as tension at border persists". The Standard (Kenya). 2007-01-03. news.php?articleid=1143963283. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. [15] "Somalia: Gunmen shot at Kenyan helicopter". Somalinet. 2007-01-03. Somalia/6422. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. [16] "Combined Task Force 150 Maintains Presence Off East Coast of Africa". United States Navy. 2007-01-05. display.asp?story_id=27242. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. [17] "Navy tries to block fleeing jihadists from Somalia". Air Force Times, Staff and wire reports. 2007-01-03. story.php?f=1-292925-2458956.php. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. [18] "Navy searching for terrorists trying to flee Somalia". Navy Times, Staff report. 2007-01-05. story.php?f=1-292925-2463655.php. Retrieved on 2007-01-05. [19] "Thousands Flee Somalia Fighting". Associated Press. 2006-12-31. 157834.php?contentType=4&contentId=268733. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. [20] "Ramage, Bunker Hill keeping an eye on Somalia". 2007-01-04. story.php?f=1-292925-2461109.php. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. [21] "Somalia’s Islamists Vow to Heed alQaida". Associated Press. 2008-01-05. content/article/2007/01/05/ AR2007010501815_2.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [22] "Fighting between Islamists and government forces continues near the Kenyan border". Shabelle Media Network. 2006-01-06. ne2013.htm. Retrieved on 2006-01-06. [23] "Somali president in capital as interim government tries to establish control".


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Battle of Ras Kamboni

Canadian Press. 2008-01-08. world/africa/09cnd-somalia.html. world/ Retrieved on 2007-01-10. story.html?id=12765710-3f4e-4a2a[33] "U.S. Again Attacks Somali Militants". b2e6-bb314f7d7b73&k=64422. Associated Press. 2007-01-09. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [24] "Islamic Militant Jungle Hideout 0,13319,121879,00.html. Retrieved on Captured". Associated Press. 2007-01-08. 2007-01-09. [34] "U.S. Reportedly Targeted 20 in International/2007/1/8/ Somalia". The Guardian. 2007-01-11. islamic_militant_jungle_hideout_captured.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. story/0,,-6337431,00.html. Retrieved on [25] "Somalia: Commander says military 2007-01-10. operations over". Garowe Online. [35] "Kenya boosts troop presence after 2008-01-07. assault on border post". Associated Press. 2007-01-03. publish/article_6936.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. 20070103-093945-6524r.htm. Retrieved [26] "Rebels driven out from Somalia south: on 2007-01-10. govt. commander". The News Pakistan. [36] "Pentagon says Somalia attack not the 2007-01-10. end". 2007-01-09. update_detail.asp?id=15735. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. 2007/01/10/ [27] "Islamic Jungle Hideout Near Capture". a1.somalia.0110.p1.php?section=nation_world. Associated Press. 2008-01-08. Retrieved on 2007-01-12. [37] "Official: 2nd U.S. Attack in Somalia pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070108/API/ Called Off". 2007-01-10. 701080984&cachetime=3&template=dateline. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. 0,2933,242740,00.html. Retrieved on [28] "Kenya: Seven Islamic militia vehicles 2007-01-12. destroyed in battle". SomaliNet. [38] "Pentagon says Somalia attack not the 2007-01-08. end". 2007-01-10. world/East%20Africa/6495. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. 2007/01/10/ [29] "US Somalia attack leaves many dead: a1.somalia.0110.p1.php?section=nation_world. govt". Associated Press. 2007-01-09. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. [39] "Official: Somalia strike missed al Qaeda US-Somalia-attack-leaves-many-deadsuspects". 2007-01-11. govt/2007/01/09/1168104960888.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. africa/01/11/somalia.ap/. Retrieved on [30] "Reports say U.S. targeted al Qaeda 2007-01-11. suspects in Somalia". Reuters. [40] "U.S denies reports of new Somalia air 2007-01-09. strikes". 2007-01-10. news/ articlenews.aspx?storyid=2007-01-09T010418Z_01_N08416210_RTRUKOC_0_UKnewsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=uri:2007SOMALIA-QAEDASOMALIAREPORT.xml&type=worldNews&WTmodLoc=WorldCONFLICT1-COL.XML&pageNumber=1&summit=. C3-More-6. Retrieved on 2007-01-09. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. [31] "U.S. targets al Qaeda suspects in [41] "Al-Qaida suspects still alive in Somalia". Somalia, Pentagon official says". CNN. AP. 2007-01-11. 2007-01-08. ap/20070111/ap_on_re_af/somalia. WORLD/africa/01/08/somalia.strike/ Retrieved on 2007-01-11. index.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-08. [42] "U.S. Troops Went Into Somalia After [32] Gentleman, Jeffrey (2007-01-09). "More Raid". Washington Post. 2007-01-11. Than 50 Die in U.S. Strikes in Somalia". New York Times. content/article/2007/01/11/


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AR2007011102329.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. [43] "U.S. troops seek airstrike dead in Somalia". United Press International. 2007-01-12. show/102623.php/US-troops-seekairstrike-dead-in-Somalia. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.

Battle of Ras Kamboni
[44] "U.S. raid may have hit top Somali militant: Pentagon". Reuters. January 17, 2006. 20070117/ts_nm/somalia_usa_raid_dc_1. Retrieved on 2006-01-17.

See also

Retrieved from "" Categories: 2006 War in Somalia, 2007 in Ethiopia, 2007 in Somalia, Battles involving Ethiopia, Battles involving Somalia, Battles involving the United States, Battles involving the United Kingdom, History of Somalia, War on Terrorism This page was last modified on 17 April 2009, at 01:06 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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