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: Giants Brigades and Shabwah Defense Forces expel ROYG forces from Ataq city, southern Yemen; UAE drones strike Special Security Forces positions in Ataq city

Somalia: Somali security forces clear four villages in central Somalia; al Shabaab conducts a complex attack targeting civilians and security forces in southern Somalia; al Shabaab executes civilians in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Military sources reported the Giants Brigades and the Shabwah Defense Forces (SDF) took control of Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on August 10.[i] Clashes in Ataq began on August 7 after Shabwah governor Awad al Awlaki dismissed the Shabwah Special Security Forces (SSF) commander the previous day.[ii] The SSF and Yemeni Army units involved in the clashes withdrew from Ataq on August 10.[iii] Local sources reported the clashes killed and wounded more than 53 fighters on both sides.[iv]

Military sources reported Emirati drones struck SSF positions in central Ataq city, Shabwah governorate on August 10.[v]

Somalia Security Brief:

Somali National Army (SNA), US-trained Danab Special Forces, Turkish-trained Gorgor Special Forces, and local militia forces cleared four villages in Beledweyne district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on August 8.[vi] SNA officials claimed to kill eight al Shabaab militants.

Al Shabaab militants conducted a complex attack targeting civilians and first responders in Abdale Birole, Kismayo district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on August 9.[vii] Al Shabaab detonated nine improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting civilian vehicles and the responding Jubbaland State Darwish forces. Al Shabaab ground forces followed and attacked the security forces’ vehicles. Local officials claimed al Shabaab killed four people and wounded 11 others.

Al Shabaab militants publicly executed six civilians in Jilib, Middle Jubba region, southern Somalia, on August 10.[viii] Al Shabaab accused the six of spying for Somali and Kenyan intelligence agencies.

[i] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “The Giants forces complete control of the city of Ataq and the special forces withdraw from the city,” August 10, 2022,

[ii] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 8, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 8, 2022,

[iii] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “Urgent: A sudden withdrawal of the ‘Special Security Forces’ from the Shabwah districts after the departure of Ataq and the control of the ‘Giants,’ and this is their next destination,” August 10, 2022,

[iv] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “Heavy toll of dead and wounded.. Giants Forces and Shabwah Defense are making progress in the center of Ataq city, and ‘aircraft’ bombard Special forces targets and many sites,” August 10, 2022,

[v] @Alsakaniali, Twitter, August 10, 2022; Mahra Post, “UAE aviation targets government forces sites in Shabwah,” August 10, 2022,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Government forces have taken over areas in Hiraan region,” August 8, 2022,

[vii] Goobjoog News, “Four killed, 11 wounded in nine separate attacks in Kismayo,” August 9, 2022,

[viii] Goobjoog News, “Al Shabaab executes six men for spying in Jilib district,” August 10, 2022,

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