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: IRGC supplies al Houthi-Saleh forces through Kuwaiti waters; AQAP attacks al Houthi-Saleh forces in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen; AQAP militants attack al Hizam security forces in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen; fighting intensifies in Taiz governorate, western Yemen
Horn of Africa: Likely al Shabaab militants detonate SVBIED in Kismayo southern Somalia; attackers kill senior Kenyan election official near Nairobi, Kenya; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting AMISOM convoy in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia; al Shabaab conducts attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is smuggling supplies to al Houthi-Saleh forces through waters, according to a Reuters report. The report states that IRGC units are trafficking weapon components, cash, and drugs to Yemen in small vessels that avoid international naval patrols. The IRGC uses a network of vessels to deliver goods to western Yemeni ports controlled by al Houthi-Saleh forces. The Saudi-led coalition has called on the international community to more effectively monitor shipments into al Hudaydah port, the primary western Yemeni port controlled by al Houthi-Saleh forces.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants conducted multiple attacks on al Houthi-Saleh forces on several fronts in governorate in central Yemen. AQAP militants launched three attacks against al Houthi-Saleh forces on the northwestern front in al Safiyah area, Rada’a city on August 1, al Zaharah area on July 31, and al Hammah village, Qayfa district on July 29. Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda militants participated in the fighting in al Zaharah, according to a photoset released by the group on July 30. AQAP militants raided two al Houthi-Saleh positions in Dhi Na’im district on the central front in al Bayda on July 31. An AQAP sniper also killed an al Houthi-Saleh fighter in al Milah area, al Zahir district, southern al Bayda on July 31.
AQAP militants attacked a checkpoint run by Emirati-backed al Hizam security forces in district, eastern Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on August 1. AQAP social media accounts reported that militants killed several troops and destroyed an al Hizam armored vehicle. AQAP militants resumed a campaign against al Hizam security forces in Abyan governorate on July 5 in Shaqra town, following an operational pause in June 2017. The group continues to prioritize attacks on Emirati-backed security forces, which lead counterterrorism operations in southern Yemen.
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi government-aligned forces attacked al Houthi-Saleh forces in governorate in an effort to strengthen their control over recently seized terrain. Hadi government forces backed by coalition air support launched an offensive on al Houthi-Saleh positions in Salwa district in southeastern Taiz governorate on August 1. Saudi-led coalition air defenses intercepted an al Houthi-Saleh ballistic missile in Mawza’ district, western Taiz governorate on August 1. Hadi government forces also seized Jabal al Khazan, Mawza’ district, western Taiz governorate on July 31. Jabal al Khazan is a strategic highpoint overlooking Camp Khalid ibn al Walid, which Hadi government-aligned forces seized on July 27. Hadi government-aligned forces backed by coalition air support also fired artillery toward al Houthi-Saleh forces in Mokha district, western Taiz governorate on July 31.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
A likely al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at a restaurant near the Jubbaland parliament building in , Lower Jubba region on August 1. The attack killed at least five people.
Unidentified attackers murdered a senior Kenyan election official near , central Kenya on July 31. Kenyan police found the body of Chris Musando, the Senior IT Manager of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, in Kikuyu, a wooded area on the outskirts of the capital. Kenyan police believe that the attackers tortured Musando before bludgeoning him to death. Police also found the body of Carol Ngumbu, a 21-year-old friend of Musando. Kenya will hold general elections on August 8.
Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy in Adow Dibile area near , Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on August 1. The attack follows a July 30 al Shabaab IED and ambush attack targeting a Ugandan AMISOM convoy in Bulo Marer, Lower Shabelle region that killed at least 18 Ugandan soldiers. 
Al Shabaab conducted several attacks on security and government targets in on July 31 and August 1. Al Shabaab militants threw a grenade at a Somali National Army checkpoint in Mogadishu on August 1. Likely al Shabaab militants also detonated a car bomb planted in a vehicle belonging to a South West State parliamentarian in Mogadishu on July 31. Al Shabaab militants also detonated an IED targeting Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officers in Sinka Dher, outside of Mogadishu on July 31. Al Shabaab intensified an assassination campaign targeting elected and military officials in Mogadishu in April 2017.
 “Exclusive - Iran Revolutionary Guards find new route to arm Yemen rebels,” Reuters, August 1, 2017, http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-gulf-kuwait-iran-exclusive-idUKKBN1AH4IA?il=0; and “Air defense system intercepts ballistic missile launched by Houthi militias towards Makkah,” Saudi Press Agency, July 27, 2017, http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1651779.
 AQAP targets al Houthi-Saleh forces in Rada’a city with two bombs, Telegram, August 1, 2017; AQAP sniper kills an al Houthi-Saleh fighter in Qayfa district, Telegram, July 29, 2017; AQAP raids two al Houthi-Saleh positions in Dhi Na’im district, Telegram, July 31, 2017; AQAP sniper kills an al Houthi-Saleh fighter in al Zahir district, Telegram, July 31, 2017; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, July 31, 2017, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/891977100936302593.
 “Injuries in an armed attack on a security point in Ahwar,” Aden Lange, August 1, 2017, http://adnlng.com/news/74680/; AQAP militants attack an al Hizam checkpoint, Telegram, August 1, 2017; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” AEI’s Critical Threats Project, July 31, 2017, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-july-31-2017.
 “The air defense system intercepts a ballistic missile fired by the al Houthis toward Mawza’ district,“ Al Masdar Online, August 1, 2017, http://almasdaronline.com/article/93053; “Two government soldiers and an unknown number of Houthis were killed in battles in Salwa, south of Taiz,” Al Masdar Online, August 1, 2017, http://almasdaronline.com/article/93049; and “Government forces liberate Jabal al Khazan and a violent explosion shakes the city of al Mokha, west of Taiz,” Al Masdar Online, July 31, 2017, http://almasdaronline.com/article/93036.
 Garowe Online, Twitter, August 1, 2017, https://twitter.com/radiogarowe/status/892423993390768128.
 Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, “Kenyan Election Official Is Killed on Eve of Vote,” The New York Times, July 31, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/world/africa/chris-musando-kenya-election-official-dead.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur; Stella Cherono, “Chris Msando died a painful death,” Daily Nation, July 31, 2017, http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Chris-Musando-tortured/1056-4039504-34w2c6/index.html; and Brian Moseti and James Kahongeh, “Woman killed with Chris Msando is Carol Ngumbu,” Daily Nation, August 1, 2017, http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Caro-Ngumbu-killed-with-Chris-Msando/1056-4040508-lk62ny/index.html.
 “Four AU soldiers wounded in IED blast near Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, August 1, 2017, http://www.shabellenews.com/2017/08/four-au-soldiers-wounded-in-ied-blast-near-mogadishu/.
 Al Shabaab claims attack on SNA checkpoint in Mogadishu, Telegram, August 1, 2017; Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, August 1, 2017, https://twitter.com/Mogadishu_News/status/892416183810609153; “Bomb under car seat wounds Three in Somali capital,” Shabelle News, July 31, 2017, http://www.shabellenews.com/2017/07/bomb-under-car-seat-wounds-three-in-somali-capital/; and Garowe Online, Twitter, August 1, 2017, https://twitter.com/radiogarowe/status/892300791381471232.