From 1 January 2018 to 12 May 2018, we have identified more than 200 security incidents. An overwhelming number of incidents were initiated by Al-Shabab, followed by the Federal Government of Somalia and its allies. A handful of incidents were generated by ISIS. Al-Shabab continues to have the strategic initiative, attacking at will and initiating battles. However, Special Operations Forces have created bubbles of AS inactivity in around their active areas.
There were a total of 60 raids – attacks on stationary bases/towns. Of these, 21- including eight drone strikes – were by the FGS and its allies, and the rest by AS. More than half (eight) of the FGS/allied raids were by Special Operations Forces. Only one attack by the SNA ended in the establishment of an FGS base, in Moqokori, Hiran region. Additionally, the SNA operated semi-independently only in two of the attacks, while it operated with AMISOM in the other three. Alarmingly, there were nine incidents of SNA fighting one another, meaning that the SNA fought itself in more instances than it fought AS.
There were nine ambushes, of which eight were by AS. The group continues to have an edge in surprise attacks on the roads, hampering government movement across towns. This has made some towns virtual islands.
Likewise, there were 65 assassinations, almost exclusively done by AS. There was one clan-related assassination, one unknown, and two ISIS assassinations. Almost all the assassinations are clustered in and around Mogadishu. Targets are mostly uniformed officers and civilians working for the government. However, businessmen and Tuktuk drivers have also been targeted. Their targeting seems to be because of refusal or slacking in the payment of the AS taxes.
Finally, there were 19 incidents of AS using IEDs to attack allied forces; five incidences of mortar attacks; and seven SVBIEDs.
We will have a separate one for Ramadan – comparing this Ramadan with last Ramadan. Below is Jan-May 2018 in an interactive map and controllable by incident.
Correction 11/6/18: An earlier version of this article stated that drone strikes were three; they were eight.