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.

Yemen: Al Houthis kill three Saudi soldiers during border clashes; al Houthis clash with tribal militants in Ma’rib; airstrike targets AQAP militants; Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appoints Khaled Bahah to vice presidency

Horn of Africa: Police kill suspected al Shabaab militants in Coast Province, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants killed three Saudi soldiers during an exchange of artillery fire in Najran, Saudi Arabia on April 11. Saudi authorities reportedly began assessing 96 villages along the Saudi-Yemeni border for possible evacuation on April 12 in response to the continued exchange of fire between the al Houthis and Saudi military on the border.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants clashed with tribal forces supported by military units in Sirwah, Ma’rib near the Sana’a-Ma’rib border on April 11-12. An estimated 35 people died in the fighting.[2]
  • An airstrike targeted a vehicle carrying suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Ghaydha, east of al Mukalla, Hadramawt on April 12. An estimated 5-7 militants died in the strike. It is unclear if the airstrike was part of Operation Decisive Storm or a U.S. airstrike.[3]
  • Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed Khaled Bahah as the vice president of Yemen on April 12. Many see Bahah as a conciliatory figure across Yemen’s warring parties, and hope that his appointment may lead to negotiations.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Police killed two suspected al Shabaab members in a gunfight in Ukanda, Coast province, Kenya on April 11. The two are believed to be connected to a group operating in the area with ties to al Shabaab.[5]

[1] “Saudi ministry of defense announces death of three soldiers and 500 al Houthis during border battles,” al Masdar, April 11, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“96 Saudi villages may be evacuated soon,” al Arabiya, April 12, 2015. Available:
[2] “Dead and wounded in clashes between tribesmen and al Houthis in Sirwah Ma’rib,” al Masdar, April 12, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribal gunmen repel al Houthi advances into Ma’rib,” al Masdar, April 12, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
[3] “Five ISIS members killed in Yemen by airstrikes,” al Bawabh news, April 12, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Airstrike targets suspected AQAP members,” Twitter, Mohammad al Basha, April 12, 2015. Available:
[4] “Yemen President appoints former PM Khaled Bahah as vice president,” Reuters, April 12, 2015. Available:
[5] Police shoot dead two al-Shabaab suspects,” Daily Nation, April 12. Available:
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