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 attack Hadi government positions in al Jawf governorate; Aden security forces arrest reported AQAP assassination cell; Saudi-led coalition launches airstrikes in Sana’a; al Houthi-Saleh forces shell town in Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia; Hadi government forces and coalition attack al Houthi-Saleh positions in Taiz city; Hadi government reopen Masila oilfields in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SNA base in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; unidentified gunmen assassinate respected elder in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces attacked forces allied with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in Khab wa al Sha'af district in al Jawf governorate, northern Yemen. Hadi government-allied forces claimed to rebuff the attack. Al Houthi-Saleh forces also fired Katyusha rockets in Khab wa al Sha’af and al Masloub districts, displacing residents.[1]
  • Security forces in Aden arrested a reported al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cell accused of assassinating military commanders in Aden. Eight members confessed to accepting payments for the attacks. The cell operated in Aden’s al Mansoura district.[2]
  • The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes on al Houthi-Saleh targets in Sana’a city and its environs on August 11. The coalition targeted a special forces camp and a military camp in northern Sana’a and al Daylami Air Force Base north of Sana’a city. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed an al Houthi-Saleh commander and three fighters in Sana’a on August 10. Pro-al Houthi media reported that coalition warplanes launched several airstrikes in the Nihm district, northeast of Sana’a, where Hadi government forces are attempting to take control of main roads leading into Sana’a. The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes on Sana’a city on August 9 for the first time since April 2016.[3]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces shelled Samitah in Jazan Province, southern Saudi Arabia on August 11. The attack killed one civilian and injured eight.[4]
  • Hadi government forces backed by Saudi-led coalition air support attacked al Houthi-Saleh positions in Taiz city on August 11. Coalition airstrikes targeted ten al Houthi-Saleh positions, including the Taiz airport and the primary al Houthi-Saleh headquarters in Taiz city. Government forces secured a foothold in the neighborhood of Hara Quaraish in eastern Taiz. Al Houthi-Saleh forces responded by firing artillery at the Tabat and al Qaleat al Qahra neighborhoods in Taiz.[5]
  • The Hadi government resumed operations at the Masila oilfields in Hadramawt governorate for the first time in 16 months. Eighty percent of Yemen’s oil reserves are located in this area. The government plans to resume production at two other oil fields at Shabwah governorate and Ma’rib governorate in the near term.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base near Afgoi town in Lower Shabelle region on August 10. Both sides used rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), artillery, and small arms fire in the attack. The fighting killed at least two civilians and wounded two others. Al Shabaab militants attacked a SNA checkpoint in Afgoi on July 18.[7]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed a local elder in Bakara Market in Mogadishu on August 10. Al Shabaab militants are waging a campaign of assassinations targeting local leaders, politicians, and military officials in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab militants killed two people in a grenade attack in Bakara Market on August 9.[8]

[1] “Fighting in the governorate of Al-Jawf and civilians displaced from Sha'af,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,
[2] “Aden security caught those responsible for those responsible for assassinations of prominent security leaders,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,; and, “The arrest of cell assassinations,” Barakish, August 11, 2016
[3] “War jets launch 50 raids on Nehm,” Saba, August 10, 2016,; and, “The Yemeni Army Dominates New Strategy to the East of Sana’a” Barakish, August 9, 2016,; and, “Houthi leader killed with his companions raid Alliance in Saada,” August 11, 2016,; and, “Renewed raids coalition fighter jets on military sites in the capital, Sanaa,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,   
[4] “Houthis renew their bombing on the Saudi Samtah City killed a woman and injured 9 others,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,
[5] “Resistance progressing east Taiz killed 10 Houthi and 3 of the resistance fighters in the ongoing battles,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,
[6] Abeer Abu Omar and Sami Aboudi, “Yemen resumes oil output, exports from Masila fields,” Reuters, August 11, 2016,; and, “Yemen's government to resume the production and export of oil and liquefied gas from fields in Hadramout,” Al Masdar, August 11, 2016,
[7] “Two dead, Four injured in Somali army base attack,” Shabelle News, August 11, 2016,
[8] “Gunmen kill well-known Elder in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, August 10, 2016,
View Citations
Arrow down red
Sep '16
Aug '16
Jul '16