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: Suspected U.S. airstrike targets AQAP militants; Yemeni military withdraws from Masila oil field; pro-al Houthi forces clash with 35th Armored Brigade in Taiz

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants hijack bus in North East province, Kenya; Kenya begins construction of border security barrier

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected U.S. airstrike targeted a vehicle carrying suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants traveling in Habban, Shabwah, south of Ataq, on April 17. The airstrike reportedly killed two militants.[1]
  • Military units responsible for guarding Masila oil field in central Hadramawt have reportedly relinquished control of the area to armed tribesmen. It is unclear if the tribesmen are allied with AQAP.[2]
  • Pro-al Houthi Special Security Forces continued clashes with the 35th Armored Brigade in Taiz city, Taiz through April 17. The 35th Armored Brigade has reportedly received reinforcements from Islah-party militants. Operation Decisive Storm airstrikes targeted al Houthis in the city.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants hijacked a bus in Mandera county, North Eastern Province, Kenya on April 16. The militants reportedly ordered everyone off the bus before driving it to Somalia.[4]
  • Kenya began construction of a security barrier along its border with Somalia. The barrier, which will include a fence and patrol road, is intended to help secure Kenya’s porous border with Somalia, which al Shabaab militants have been able to traverse to conduct attacks in Kenya.[5]

[2] “Military withdraws from oil fields, hands security to tribes,” April 17, 2015. Available:
“Tribes in Hadramawt seize oil field in Yemen,” Arabic China, April 17, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Tribal militants seize control of oil field in Hadramawt,” April 17, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “The fall of the 35th Armored Brigade in Taiz city,” Barakish, April 16, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Airstrikes on presidential palace in Taiz and fighting with the 35th Armored Brigade,” Barakish, April 17, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Popular resistance in Taiz surrounds Special Security Forces Camp,” al Masdar, April 16, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab hijacks bus in northeastern Kenya: official,” Hiiraan Online, April 17. Available:
[5] “Kenya ‘begins construction’ of Somalia security barrier,” Somaliweyn, April 17. Available:
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