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: Ansar al Sharia militants continue to battle government forces for control of al Mukalla; al Houthis withdraw from Crater, Aden following clashes with pro-Hadi forces; Saudi airstrikes target al Houthi positions in Bab el Mandeb strait

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases video; police arrest terror suspects in Mombasa, Coast province, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Ansar al Sharia militants continue to fight security and military forces for control of al Mukalla, Hadramawt. Ansar al Sharia militants are reportedly in control of the majority of the city and have set up checkpoints throughout the central areas. Ansar al Sharia fighters reportedly announced at mosques in al Mukalla that they were seizing the city in order to protect it from the al Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants were forced to withdraw from Crater, Aden city, Aden on April 3 after prolonged fighting with forces loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The al Houthi lines are currently located in Khormaksar in northern Aden. Saudi aircraft have reportedly airdropped weaponry and medical supplies to the pro-Hadi forces fighting in Aden.[2]
  • Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm airstrikes targeted al Houthi militants in Miyun, an island located in the Bab el Mandeb strait, on April 2. There are no casualty reports available from the strike.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a video focusing on its fighters in the Golis Mountains in Northern Somalia on March 30. The video is the second in the series “From the Frontiers of Honor,” and depicts the 2013 Boosaaso prison attack, the aftermath of a clash with security forces from 2010, and fighters in the mountains. The video also featured the biographies of two killed fighters.[4]
  • Kenyan police arrested four suspects in Mombasa, Coast province, Kenya on April 3. No information on the suspects has been released. Their arrest follows an increase in security across the country following the April 2 al Shabaab attack on a University in Garissa, Kenya.[5]
[1] “Al Qaeda announces at mosques that they are protecting the city from the al Houthis,” Barakish, April 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Qaeda seizes heart of city in southeast Yemen,” al Arabiya, April 3, 2015. Available:
“Continued al Qaeda control of al Mukalla,” al Watanye, April 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saudis airdrop arms to Aden defenders, Houthis pull back,” Reuters, April 3, 2015. Available:
“Al Houthis withdraw from central Aden,” al Masdar, April 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Dead and wounded in raids in Bab el Mandeb,” al Masdar, April 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Shabaab Video Focuses on Fighters in Golis Mountains in Northern Somalia,” SITE, April 1. Available:
[5] Nancy Agutu and Elkana Jacob, “Four terror suspects arrested at Mombasa City Mall,” The Star, April 3. Available:
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