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: STC President meets with Yemeni Minister of Defense to discuss Houthi escalation; two possible Houthi gunmen assassinate ROYG brigade commander; AQAP claims ambush that kills three STC-backed soldiers

Somalia: Al Shabaab torches civilian houses in north-central Somalia, SNA clears al Shabaab from southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab likely detonates an IED targeting ATMIS in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

Southern Transitional Council (STC) President Ayadrus al Zubaidi met with Yemeni Minister of Defense Lt. Gen. Mohsen al Daari on April 2 in Aden, Yemen to discuss battlefield developments amidst recent Houthi military escalation on the Harib front in Ma’rib governorate and on the Markha front in Shabwah governorate, Yemen.[i]

Two possible Houthi-affiliated gunmen assassinated the Yemeni government-backed 3rd Border Guard Brigade Operations Officer Colonel Yasser al Hashidi on March 31 in the Wadi la Qadi area, Taiz governorate, southern Yemen.[ii] Egyptian news site Sada El Balad reported that al Hashidi was well known for leading operations against the Houthis.[iii]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters targeted an STC-backed military position in a nighttime ambush in al Baqira, Mudiyah district, Abyan, southern Yemen, on April 1. AQAP killed three fighters in the attack.[iv] 

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab burned civilian houses in Huldoyale area, Hobyo district, Mudug region, north-central Somalia, on April 2.[v]

The Somali National Army cleared an al Shabaab hideout in Makude village, Bay region, southwestern Somalia, on April 1.[vi] The operation killed 14 al Shabaab militants.[vii] 

Al Shabaab likely detonated an improvised explosive device targeting an African Union convoy in Hodan district, Mogadishu, southern Somalia, on April 3.[viii] The explosion wounded three civilians.[ix] 

[i] Dera al Ganoob, “President Al-Zubaidi discusses with the Minister of Defense the latest field developments on the confrontation fronts with the Houthi militia,” April 2, 2023,

[ii] SMA News, “Yemen: The assassination of a prominent military commander in the city of Taiz,” April 1, 2023,

[iii] Sada El Balad, “Unidentified Gunmen Kill Yemeni Pro-gov’t Military Official in Taiz,” April 1, 2023,

[iv] SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Claims Killing 3 During Ambush Targeting UAE-backed Forces in Abyan,” April 3, 2023,

[v] Radio Risaala, “SAWIRO:- Al-Shabaab is said to have burnt houses belonging to Shabab people,” April 2, 2023, ; Goobjoog News, “Al-Shabaab militants burn houses in Mudug,” April 2, 2023,

[vi] Garowe Online, “Somalia Military Kills 14 Al-Shabaab Militants in Offensive,” April 1, 2023,

[vii] Garowe Online, “Somalia Military Kills 14 Al-Shabaab Militants in Offensive”

[viii] Hussein Mohamed, @HussienM12, Twitter, April 3, 2023,

[ix] Hiiraan Online, “Three women were injured in an explosion in one of the ATMIS vehicles,” April 3, 2023,

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