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 claim to launch drone toward Saudi Arabia; al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: SNA and AMISOM forces arrest al Shabaab militants in Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab claims to seize control of town in Mudug region; Somali security forces clash in Mogadishu
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Yemen Security Brief:
The al Houthi movement claimed to launch an explosive-laden drone toward King Khalid airbase in Khamis Mushait city in southern Saudi Arabia’s Asir region on April 17. Saudi Arabia did not confirm the attack. The Saudi-led coalition previously claimed to intercept al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting Asir region on April 14.[i]
Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along al Masjah front in Sirwah district in central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on April 18. Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces previously clashed along al Masjah front on April 15.[ii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces arrested al Shabaab militants near Balad district in central Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on April 19. Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device targeting an SNA commander near Balad on April 17.[iii]
Al Shabaab claimed to seize control of Ba’adweyne town in central Somalia’s Mudug region on April 15. SNA troops withdrew from Ba’adweyne town the day prior on April 14.[iv]
SNA troops exchanged gunfire with security forces loyal to Mogadishu’s former police chief on April 16 in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The Somali Federal Government fired the police chief for attempting to prevent the Lower House of Parliament from voting to extend the Somali president’s mandate on April 11.[v]
[i][i] “Yemen’s Houthis say they have hit Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid air base,” Reuters, April 17, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/yemens-houthis-say-they-have-hit-saudi-arabias-king-khalid-air-base-2021-04-17/; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 14, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 14, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-14-2021.
[ii] “Violent clashes in Marib and a large displacement of civilians due to the battles between the National Army and the Houthis,” Al Jazeera, April 19, 2021, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2021/4/19/%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%8a%d9%85%d9%86-%d8%a7%d8%b4%d8%aa%d8%a8%d8%a7%d9%83%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%b9%d9%86%d9%8a%d9%81%d8%a9-%d9%81%d9%8a-%d9%85%d8%a3%d8%b1%d8%a8-%d8%a8%d9%8a%d9%86-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ac%d9%8a%d8%b4; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 16, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 16, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-16-2021.
[iii] “Al-Shabaab members arrested in Mogadishu,” Radio Dalsan, April 19, 2021, https://www.radiodalsan.com/ciidamo-fuliyay-howlgal-lagu-qabtay-xubno-ka-tirsan-al-shabaab/; and “Roadside blast in Somalia kills top military commander,” Hiiraan, April 19, 2021, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2021/Apr/182343/roadside_blast_in_somalia_kills_top_military_commander.aspx.
[iv] “Somali government troops face off with forces loyal to sacked police boss,” Reuters, April 18, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/somali-government-troops-face-off-with-forces-loyal-sacked-police-boss-2021-04-17/; “Somalia: Al-Shabaab takes control of Ba’adweyne,” Somali Affairs, April 17, 2021, https://www.somaliaffairs.com/news/somalia-al-shabaab-takes-control-of-key-central-town/; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, April 15, 2021, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1383058174631153665.
[v] “Somali government troops face off with forces loyal to sacked police boss,” Reuters, April 18, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/somali-government-troops-face-off-with-forces-loyal-sacked-police-boss-2021-04-17/.