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 clash with Hadi government forces in Taiz governorate; UAE-backed STC forces clash with Hadi government forces in Lahij governorate; Saudi-led coalition forces arrive in al Mahrah governorate
Horn of Africa: Unidentified militants detonate IED killing civilians in Mogadishu; Ethiopian airstrikes target al Shabaab in southwestern Somalia; IS-aligned militants declare goal of caliphate in northern Mozambique
Yemen Security Brief:
Al Houthi militants clashed with forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi on al Sayahi front in Taiz governorate in southwestern Yemen on April 14. Clashes erupted after al Houthi militants attempted to advance toward al Sayahi front, according to local media sources. Saudi-backed Hadi government forces clashed with al Houthi militants in Taiz governorate in early April.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) forces clashed with Saudi-backed Hadi government forces in Bin Naser in Lahij governorate in southern Yemen on April 13. The clashes killed two STC force members. Saudi-backed Hadi government forces reportedly seized six STC military vehicles and arrested several STC force members. UAE-backed STC forces reportedly detained Saudi-led coalition forces in Yafei district in Lahij governorate in early April.
Saudi-led coalition forces reportedly arrived in al Mahrah governorate in eastern Yemen with armored military vehicles on April 13. Saudi-led coalition forces came from neighboring Hadramawt governorate to strengthen their military presence in al Mahrah governorate, according to a local official. Saudi-led coalition forces clashed with tribal forces in al Mahrah governorate in mid-February.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali National Army convoy in Karan district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on April 14. The blast injured four civilians. No militant group has claimed the attack. Al Shabaab claimed seven IED attacks targeting Somali and African Union forces in Mogadishu between March 26 and April 1.
The Ethiopian National Defense Force’s (ENDF) Eastern Air Force division reportedly conducted multiple airstrikes killing 17 al Shabaab militants near Kortole and Hirkut in southwestern Somalia’s Gedo region on April 12. The strikes prevented an al Shabaab attack targeting an ENDF convoy, according to an ENDF spokesman. Al Shabaab ambushed an ENDF convoy near Luuq in Gedo region on April 3.
Islamic State-aligned Ahlu Sunna wa Jama'a (ASWJ) militants declared on March 25 their intention to establish a caliphate governed by Islamic law in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. The militants made their proclamation in Quissanga city after driving Mozambican Army forces out of the area. Mozambican government-aligned mercenaries of uncertain origins reportedly attacked ASWJ bases in Cabo Delgado province on April 8 and 9, respectively.
 “Violent clashes break out between the National Army and the houthi militia in Taiz,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, April 14, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/163139; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 8, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-8-2020.
 “Saudi military reinforcements with skill and clashes between the security belt and government forces in Lahj,” Al Jazeera, April 14, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2020/4/14/اليمن-السعودية-المهرة-قوات-; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 9, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 9, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-9-2020.
 “Saudi military reinforcements with skill and clashes between the security belt and government forces in Lahj,” Al Jazeera, April 14, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2020/4/14/اليمن-السعودية-المهرة-قوات-حكومية-الحزام-الأمني-الإمارات; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 18, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-18-2020.
 “IED blast targeting military convoy wounds civilians in Mogadishu,” Garowe, April 14, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-ied-blast-targeting-military-convoy-wounds-civilians-in-mogadishu; and “Shabaab Claims Multiple Assassinations, Bombings in 2nd Consecutive Week of Frequent Military Activity,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 2, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
 “Ethiopian Airstrike Kills 17 Al-Shabaab Troops,” Ezega, April 13, 2020, https://www.ezega.com/News/NewsDetails/7887/Ethiopian-Airstrike-Kills-17-Al-Shabaab-Troops; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 6, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 6, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-6-2020.
 “Extremists in Northern Mozambique Declare Goal of Caliphate,” Voice of America, April 13, 2020, https://www.voanews.com/africa/extremists-northern-mozambique-declare-goal-caliphate; Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - April 10, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 10, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-10-2020; and Eric Morier-Genoud, Twitter, March 26, 2020, https://twitter.com/emorier/status/1243082181100163072.