Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.{{authorBox.message}}

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Yemen: Islamic State in Yemen claims attack on al Houthis in al Bayda governorate; US Secretary of State announces US and partner forces interdicting Iranian-manufactured weapon shipment off Yemen’s coast; Saudi-led coalition claims destroying al Houthi explosive-laden boats in Red Sea; al Houthis reportedly launch missile targeting Ma'rib city; Saudi-led coalition launches airstrikes on al Houthis in Sana'a governorate

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrike against al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab claims repelling joint US-Somali attack in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab claims seizing Kenyan military base and attacks communication mast and police station in eastern Kenya

Yemen Security Brief:

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed attacking three al Houthi positions in Qayfa area in central Yemen’s al Bayda governorate on July 7. The militants reportedly detonated an improvised explosive device (IED), killing seven al Houthi militants and injuring six others. The Islamic State in Yemen previously claimed an attack on al Houthi militants in Dhaleh governorate’s Juban district in early April.[1]

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on July 8 that the US and partner forces interdicted a vessel transporting Iranian-manufactured weapons off Yemen’s coast on June 28. The US Navy previously intercepted a dhow carrying Iranian-manufactured weapons intended for the al Houthi movement in the Arabian Sea in early February.[2]

Saudi-led coalition forces claimed destroying two explosive-laden al Houthi boats near al Hudaydah governorate’s Port Salif on July 9. Saudi-led coalition forces intercepted and destroyed two al Houthi remote-controlled IED boats, known as drone boats, in the Red Sea in mid-March.[3]

Forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) claimed attacking forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Habban district in southern Yemen’s Shabwah governorate on July 10. The Hadi government and STC reportedly began peace talks in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in early July.[4]

Al Houthi militants reportedly launched a missile targeting the capital of Ma’rib governorate, Ma'rib city, on July 8. The missile allegedly hit a residential area. The Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi positions in Ma'rib governorate on July 7.[5]

Hadi government forces claimed taking territory from al Houthi militants in Nihm district in Sana'a governorate on July 10. Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes on al Houthi positions in Nihm district on July 9. The raids reportedly caused several al Houthi casualties and destroyed military vehicles.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting an al Shabaab checkpoint near Hantiwadaag in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on July 9. The airstrike destroyed the checkpoint, killing one al Shabaab militant. AFRICOM previously conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region in mid-May.[7]

Al Shabaab claimed repelling a joint US-Somali forces attack in Mubarak town in Lower Shabelle region on July 10. Al Shabaab reported killing three Somali special forces soldiers and wounding four others. Al Shabaab killed four African Union Mission to Somalia forces in Lower Shabelle on July 7.[8]

Al Shabaab claimed seizing a Kenyan military base near Karkara area in eastern Kenya’s Garissa County on July 9. Al Shabaab also attacked a communications mast and a Kenyan police station in Garissa County on the same day. Kenyan officials reported al Shabaab destroyed the communications mast before Kenyan police repelled the attack. Al Shabaab attacked Kenyan police in Garissa County in late May.[9]


[1] Elizabeth Kendall, Twitter, July 8, 2020, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/1280945210978193409; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File: COVID-19 strain expedites Saudi Arabia’s exit from Yemen war,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 29, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/yemen-file-covid-19-strain-expedites-saudi-arabias-exit-from-yemen-war.

[2] “Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability,” Department of State, July 8, 2020, https://www.state.gov/secretary-michael-r-pompeo-at-a-press-availability-8/; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File: AQAP Emir Rallies Group Under New Leadership Before Plotting External Attacks,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 9, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/AQAP-Emir-Rallies-Group-Under-New-Leadership.

[3] “The Arab coalition destroys two Houthi booby-trapped boats south of Al-Salif port,” SMA News, July 8, 2020, https://smanews.org/news/192542; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File: Al Houthi Movement Offensive Targets Oil in Northern Yemen,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 10, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/yemen-file-al-houthi-movement-offensive-targets-oil-in-northern-yemen

[4] “Southern resistance bombed Brotherhood militia sites in Al-Aram Habban area,” 7adramout, July 10, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/almandebnews/7434458/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%B5%D9%81-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%B9-%D9%84%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B7%D9%82%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D9%85-%D8%AD%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86.html; “Amidst news of Saudi pressure on Hadi ... consultations between the Yemeni government and the Transitional Council to form a new government,” Al Jazeera, July 7, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2020/7/6/%d9%88%d8%b3%d8%b7-%d8%a3%d9%86%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%a1-%d8%b9%d9%86-%d8%b6%d8%ba%d9%88%d8%b7-%d8%b3%d8%b9%d9%88%d8%af%d9%8a%d8%a9-%d8%b9%d9%84%d9%89-%d9%87%d8%a7%d8%af%d9%8a-%d8%a8%d8%af%d8%a1/.

[5] “Wounded people, including women and children, with a Houthi missile targeting a residential neighborhood in Marib,” 7adramout, July 9, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/4MAY/7433302/%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%AD%D9%89-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%87%D9%85-%D9%86%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D9%88%D8%A3%D8%B7%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A8%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%AE-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%AF%D9%81-%D8%AD%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%83%D9%86%D9%8A-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%A3%D8%B1%D8%A8.html; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 8, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-8-2020.

[6] “In a surprise attack ... the national army controls the "Neham steel" junction and the coalition fighters enter the battle with the intensification of the confrontations in the meantime,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, July 10, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/171660; “Intense raids by the Arab alliance on Houthi militia sites in Sanaa,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, July 9, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/171544.

[7] “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM target al Shabaab,” US Africa Command, July 9, 2020, https://www.africom.mil/pressrelease/32997/federal-government-of-somalia-africom-target; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Kalissa Azooz, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-18-2020.

[8] “Shabaab Claims Bombing on Somali Police Behind Qatari Embassy, Seizing Control Over Kenyan Base in Garissa,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 9, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 8, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review.

[9] “Shabaab Claims Bombing on Somali Police Behind Qatari Embassy, Seizing Control Over Kenyan Base in Garissa,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 9, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; Muhammad Ramadhito and Kalissa Azooz, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 20, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 20, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-20-2020; Amina Wako, “Al Shabaab militants attack police station in Garissa,” Nairobi News, July 9, 2020, https://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/editors-picks/al-shabaab-militants-attack-police-station-in-garissa; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 15, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 15, 2020 https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-15-2020.

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Yemen: Al Houthi spokesman warns Saudi civilians to stay away from Saudi military buildings and palaces; Saudi-led coalition reportedly launches airstrikes on al Houthis across several governorates; al Houthis clash amongst themselves in Ibb governorate

Horn of Africa: Unclaimed IED attack kills two Somali police officers in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sare'a urged Saudi civilians on July 7 to stay away from Saudi military buildings and palaces. The al Houthi movement claimed a large-scale ballistic missile and explosive drone attack on the Saudi Defense and Intelligence ministries and King Salman Air Base in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in late June.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi positions in al Jawf, al Bayda, and Ma’rib governorates on July 7. Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi sites in al Bayda governorate’s al Qurayshiya district, targeting armored vehicles and a weapons and ammunition warehouse. Hadi government forces claimed preventing al Houthi militants from advancing in al Bayda’s Qaniya front on July 6.[2]

Several al Houthi militants reportedly clashed amongst themselves in Hazm al ‘Udayn district in Ibb governorate in central Yemen. The clashes allegedly erupted over a dispute during a funeral of an al Houthi militant. Al Houthi militants reportedly clashed with each other over land east of the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, on July 4.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

An unclaimed roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a Somali police vehicle in Hodan district in the Somali capital Mogadishu on July 8. The explosion killed two Somali police officers and injured at least two civilians. An al Shabaab IED attack killed at least four African Union Mission to Somalia soldiers in the Elasha Biyaha area on the outskirts of Mogadishu on July 7.[4]


[1] “Sare’e Urges Saudi Civilians to Stay Away from Royal Palaces, Military Headquarters,” Al Masirah, July 8, 2020, https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=13866&cat_id=1; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 24, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 24, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-24-2020.

[2] “The coalition destroys reinforcements for the Houthi militia in Jawf, Marib, and al-Bayda,” 7adramout, July 8, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/aden24/7432567/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81-%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%B2%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%81-%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A3%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%A1.html; “The National Army forces achieve great victories in Al-Jouf and are close to Al-Hazm Governorate Center,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, July 7, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/171314; and Zachary Jaynes and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 6, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 6, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-6-2020.

[3] “Inter-clashes break out within the ranks of the Houthi militia in Ibb governorate,” 7adramout, July 8, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/4MAY/7432325/%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84-%D8%B5%D9%81%D9%88%D9%81-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%B8%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D8%A8.html; and “Inter-Houthi clashes in Sana’a, in which machine guns were used,” 7adramout, July 4, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/4MAY/7429265/%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B5%D9%86%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%8F%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AE%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%AA-%D9%81%D9%8A%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A9.html.

[4] “Two policemen killed in roadside blast in Mogadishu, witnesses say,” Reuters, July 8, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-blast/two-policemen-killed-in-roadside-blast-in-mogadishu-witnesses-idUSKBN2491OJ; “Update: Landmine explosion hit a police vehicle in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog, July 8, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/update-landmine-explosion-hit-a-police-vehicle-in-mogadishu/; and “Al Shabaab Claims Responsibility for Killing 4 AMISOM Soldiers in the Outskirts of Mogadishu,” Radio Dalsan, July 7, 2020, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/07/07/alshabab-claims-responsibility-for-killing-4-amisom-soldiers-in-the-outskirts-of-mogadishu/.

 

 

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Yemen: Al Houthis launch drone attacks targeting southwestern Saudi cities; Hadi government and STC reportedly begin peace talks in Riyadh; Hadi government-aligned forces claim killing al Houthi militants in northern Yemen; Hadi government forces reportedly repel al Houthi advances in al Bayda governorate

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militant conducts suicide attack in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab IED kills five in south-central Somalia; SNA repels al Shabaab attack in south-central Somalia

 Yemen Security Brief:

The al Houthi movement claimed launching drones toward Khamis Mushait and Najran cities in southwestern Saudi Arabia on July 3. An al Houthi official claimed the attack hit the control room of Najran’s airport and weapon and aircraft storage facilities of King Khalid air base in Khamis Mushait. Saudi forces claimed intercepting four al Houthi drones launched toward the kingdom the same day.[1]

The internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) reportedly began peace talks in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. President Hadi urged the STC to abide by the November 2019 Riyadh Agreement in late June. The Riyadh Agreement was intended to facilitate a power-sharing dynamic between the two sides. The STC declared self-rule in southern Yemen in April in an attempt to displace Hadi’s government.[2]

Hadi government-aligned forces claimed destroying several al Houthi vehicles along Ma’rib and al Jawf governorates’ border on July 5, killing several al Houthi militants. Hadi government officials claimed surrounding al Hazm city, the capital of al Jawf governorate, in late June.[3]

Hadi government forces claimed preventing al Houthi militants from advancing in Qaniya front in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on July 5. Hadi government forces reportedly killed several al Houthi militants, including an al Houthi leader. Al Houthi militants reportedly sent reinforcements to Qaniya in late June.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

A suspected al Shabaab militant conducted a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in Hamar Jajab district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on July 4. Somali officials reported that the attack targeted a tax collection center. The explosion killed the attacker and injured at least five civilians. An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vest targeting Somali National Army (SNA) forces at a Turkish-run military base in Mogadishu in late June.[5]

A suspected al Shabaab improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Baidoa city in south-central Somalia’s Bay region on July 5. The explosion killed at least five civilians and injured at least eight others. Al Shabaab claimed an IED attack that killed four civilians near Baidoa in late May.[6]

SNA forces repelled an al Shabaab attack on a SNA base near Awdinle town in Bay region on July 6, killing five al Shabaab militants. Al Shabaab militants attacked an Ethiopian National Defense Force base in Bay region in early June.[7]


[1] “Riyadh announces blocking drones, Houthis target an airport and air base in Saudi Arabia,” Al Jazeera, July, 3, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/2020/7/3/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%b6-%d8%aa%d8%b9%d9%84%d9%86-%d8%b5%d8%af%d9%91-%d8%b7%d8%a7%d8%a6%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d9%85%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%b1%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d8%b3%d8%aa%d9%87%d8%af%d8%a7%d9%81; “Yemen’s Houthis say targeted Saudi airport, air base with drones,” Reuters, July 3, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-saudi-drones/yemens-houthis-say-targeted-saudi-airport-air-base-with-drones-idUSKBN2441ZJ; and

[2] “Amidst news of Saudi pressure on Hadi … consultations between the Yemeni government and the Transitional Council to form a new government,” Al Jazeera, July 6, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2020/7/6/%d9%88%d8%b3%d8%b7-%d8%a3%d9%86%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%a1-%d8%b9%d9%86-%d8%b6%d8%ba%d9%88%d8%b7-%d8%b3%d8%b9%d9%88%d8%af%d9%8a%d8%a9-%d8%b9%d9%84%d9%89-%d9%87%d8%a7%d8%af%d9%8a-%d8%a8%d8%af%d8%a1/; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 1, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 1, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-1-2020.

[3] “Three al Houthi vehicles destroyed and dozens wounded in eastern Yemen,” Khabar Agency, July 6, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news128692.html; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 26, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 26, 2002, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-26-2020.

[4] “The killing of a prominent al Houthi leader on Qaniya front in al Bayda with army controlling new locations,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, July 6, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/171219; “Army makes progress in Al-Bayda, shot down drone in Marib,” 26 Sep News, July 5, 2020, http://en.26sepnews.net/2020/07/05/army-makes-new-progress-shot-down-drone-in-marib/; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 1, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 1, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-1-2020.

[5] Abdi Latif Dahir, “Attacks in Somalia Leave at Least 5 dead,” New York Times, July 4, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/world/africa/somalia-bombing-mogadishu.html; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 24, 2020, Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 24, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-24-2020.

[6] “Somali restaurant attack: Six killed by al Shabaab,” BBC, July 4, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53289992; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - May 27, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 27, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-27-2020.

[7] “Five militants killed in southern Somalia,” Xinhau, July 6, 2020, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-07/06/c_139192354.htm; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 1, 2020, Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 1, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-1-2020

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