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: Saudi air defenses intercept al Houthi drones in Asir region; Saudi-backed Yemeni security forces raid AQAP bomb-making facility in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims ambush against SNA at sea; SFG Prime Minister claims progress in addressing SNA salary disputes

Yemen Security Brief

Saudi air defense forces intercepted two al Houthi drones en route to Khamis Mushayt city in Asir region in southern Saudi Arabia on April 2. Five Saudi civilians were injured from shrapnel when air defense forces intercepted the drones, according to Saudi authorities.[1]

Saudi-backed Yemeni security forces raided an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) bomb-making cell and destroyed explosives in Juaymah city in Shibam district in Hadramawt governorate in eastern Yemen on April 2. The raid was in response to an AQAP attack on the security forces’ patrol vehicle in neighboring Sayun city the day prior.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab claimed to ambush a small boat carrying Somali National Army (SNA) forces at sea on March 30. The SNA forces were traveling between the coastal town of Marka and the Somali capital Mogadishu. Al Shabaab also claimed to capture the village of Daqalow near the Somalia-Kenya border in Lower Jubba region on March 28. Al Shabaab claimed to capture the village after ambushing Somali security forces in the area.[3]

Somali Federal Government (SFG) Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire stated on April 2 that the SFG has registered 16,203 SNA soldiers under a new biometric payroll system. Scores of SNA soldiers withdrew from multiple bases in Middle Shabelle region in central Somalia in March after claiming that they had not received their salaries in four months. Khaire blamed the soldiers for not registering with the new biometric system.[4]

View our Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia story streams.

[1] “Saudi Arabia intercepts two planes flying toward Khamis Mushayt,” Mareb Press, 03 April, 2019,

[2] “Hadramout: hearing the sound of an explosion in the city of Shibam,” Cratersky, April 3, 2019,; and “News Yemen direct today - an urban force to carry out a raid on the outskirts of Shibam,” 7adramawt, April 3, 2019

[3] “Shabaab claims ambush at sea on Somali soldiers, executes 4 spies in public square in Lower Juba,” SITE Intelligence Group, April 2, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[4] “We can now account for 16,203 soldiers-PM,” Goobjoog, April 2, 2019,

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