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 Houthi-Saleh forces fire two ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia; Hadi government forces advance in Nihm district, Sana’a governorate; al Houthi-Saleh Supreme Political Council leader blames failed UN peace talks for escalation; President Hadi blames al Houthis for war

Horn of Africa: SNA drives al Shabaab from town near Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; suspected al Shabaab militants conduct grenade attack in Bakara Market, Mogadishu; warplanes strike al Shabaab positions in Jilib town, Middle Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces fired two ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia on August 10. The missiles targeted Abha city and the Khamis Mushait military base in southern Saudi Arabia. Saudi air defenses intercepted the missiles. Pro-al Houthi media identified one of the missiles as a “Qaher-1” ballistic missile. Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ahmed al Asiri said that a falling missile killed one civilian and wounded three others in Samitah, Jazan province, Saudi Arabia.[1]
  • Yemeni military forces advanced in Nihm, northeast of Sana’a city on August 9. These areas include Mt. al Qatab, Mt. al Madfun, and al Hawl. Forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government launched an offensive on August 6 in Nihm district in an effort to seize control of a main road leading into Sana’a city.[2]
  • Saleh al Samad, President of the new al Houthi-General People’s Congress Supreme Political Council, stated that the UN is responsible for the escalation of the Yemen conflict because of the collapse of the UN-led peace talks on August 6. Al Samad accused the UN of tacit compliance with the Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign. The coalition resumed airstrikes on Sana’a city on August 9.[3]
  • President Hadi blamed the al Houthis for causing Yemen’s civil war and inciting sectarianism in a statement on August 9. He met with the Prime Minister of the UAE, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the Emirati Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on August 9. President Hadi also met with the American and British ambassadors to Yemen on August 10.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces drove al Shabaab fighters from a village located near Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region on August 10. SNA forces attacked the militants as part of a larger clearing campaign in the region. Both sides suffered multiple casualties.[5]
  • A suspected al Shabaab militant conducted a grenade attack in Bakara Market in Mogadishu on August 9. The blast killed at least two individuals, including one SNA soldier, and wounded one civilian.[6]
  • Unidentified warplanes struck al Shabaab outposts near Jilib town in Middle Jubba region on August 10. Al Shabaab militants torched vehicles in Jilib on August 9 when the militants suspected aircraft were tracking their positions.[7]

[1] Noah Browning, “Saudi Arabia intercepts two missiles fired from Yemen, Al Arabiya says,” Reuters, August 10, 2016,; and “Saudi Blocked two Ballistic Missiles” Barakish, August 10, 2016,; and “The Launch of Ballistic Missiles on Khamis Mushait Air Base in Asir,” Saba New, August 10, 2016, and “Asiri: Houthi Militias Behind Shelling on Saudi Border” Barakish, August 10 2016,    
[2] “The Yemeni Army Dominates New Strategy to the East of Sana’a” Barakish, August 9, 2016,  and “Video of the Yemeni Army taking control of the al Hawl area east of the Capital of Sana’a” Barakish, August 10, 2016,
[3] Noah Browning, “Saudi Arabia intercepts two missiles fired from Yemen, Al Arabiya says” Reuters, August 10, 2016,
[4] “President Hadi: The war was not our choice but it was forced upon us,” Barakish, August 9, 2016,; and “President of the Republic welcomes ambassadors of our country from the U.S. and UK,” Saba New, August 10, 2016,
[5] “SNA recaptures training camp from Al-Shabaab fighters in Middle Shabelle,” Goobjoog News, August 10, 2016,; and “Somali troops retake new village from Al Shabaab,” Shabelle News, August 9, 2016,
[6] “Two killed in Mogadishu’s Bakaro market blast,” Goobjoog News, August 10, 2016,; and “Two dead, one Wounded in Mogadishu Market blast,” Shabelle News, August 9, 2016,
[7] “Somalia: Fighter jets target Al Shabaab bases,” Shabelle News, August 10, 2016,; and “Unknown warplanes hit Al-Shabaab bases in jilib town,” Goobjoog News, August 10, 2016,
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