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 Saudi forces outside of Najran city, southern Saudi Arabia; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes on Sana’a; Hadi government forces advance in eastern Taiz city; Yemeni government closes Aden-Abyan road citing AQAP concerns; al Houthi-Saleh forces attack near Maris, al Dhaleh
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush SNA and AMISOM forces near Hudur, Bakool region; suspected al Shabaab militants target officials in Mogadishu; Somali officials revise policies for al Shabaab defectors
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Houthi-Saleh forces attacked Saudi military positions on the outskirts of Najran city, southern Saudi Arabia, on August 11. Al Houthi-Saleh forces killed several border guards and destroyed multiple military vehicles. Pro-al Houthi media claimed that al Houthi-Saleh forces captured key positions near the city. Other sources claimed that Saudi forces rebuffed the al Houthi-Saleh attack and recaptured the contested positions. Saudi forces shelled al Houthi-Saleh positions near al Huthayra on the border of Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia.
- The Saudi-led coalition bombed multiple al Houthi-Saleh targets in and around Sana’a city on August 12. The coalition bombed the al Daylami Air Force Base north of the capital city, two military camps in the Arhab district, one military camp in the Bani al Harith district, and the presidential compound in al Sabeen neighborhood in southern Sana’a. Coalition airstrikes struck al Houthi-Saleh ammunitions and arms caches in Arhab district. Airstrikes killed multiple civilians, including three children.
- Yemeni forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government continued an offensive on Taiz city, central Yemen, and secured the eastern district of Thabat. Al Houthi-Saleh forces attempted a counterattack from the west but government forces repulsed the attack. The Military Council of Taiz reported 27 government casualties and 11 al Houthi-Saleh casualties. The committee tasked with supervising a ceasefire in Taiz reported 27 civilian casualties.
- Hadi government security forces closed the road connecting the southern port city of Aden to Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. The government cited concerns over the movement of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants from Abyan into Aden.
- Al Houthi-Saleh forces attacked Ramma town near Maris district in al Dhaleh governorate on August 12. Hadi government-allied forces claimed to rebuff the attack. Both sides exchanged artillery fire.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants ambushed Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces near Hudur town in Bakool region on August 11. The attackers killed three SNA soldiers. Al Shabaab fighters killed three coalition fighters in Hudur on July 28.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked two Somali officials in Mogadishu on August 12. Militants shot and killed Ilyas Abdullahi Adar, a local government official, in the Shibis district of Mogadishu. Militants failed to assassinate the Dharkenley district commissioner with a grenade blast, but wounded two security guards.
- Somali officials announced revised policies for the treatment of former al Shabaab fighters. Officials will offer low-threat former militants counseling and job training. The Ministry of Internal Security announced the more relaxed policies in an effort to promote al Shabaab defections.
 Salah al-Qurashi, “Najran city within mouth of Yemeni Hurricane,” al Masirah, August 12, 2016,http://www.almasirah.net/%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A9-%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84-%D9%81%D9%88%D9%87%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A/; and, “Houthis killed trying to sneak near Najran .. rebels trying to infiltrate into Saudi Arabia,” News BT, August 12, 2016, http://sa-akhbar.com/11442/%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%D9%88%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%84-%D9%82%D8%B1%D8%A8-%D9%86%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7.html; and “Saudi artillery bombed Houthi hideouts on the border,” Barakish, August 12, 2016, http://barakish.net/news02.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=429479.
 “Huge explosions rocked the capital Sanaa,” Barakish, August 12, 2016, http://barakish.net/news02.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=429474; and “Blast weapons stores camp for the Houthis and the forces in favor of the alliance following the raids north of the capital,” August 11, 2016, http://almasdaronline.com/article/83694; and, “Alliance errors continuously .. Four of a family killed in a raid on their house in Sanaa,” August 12, 2016, http://almasdaronline.com/article/83696; and Mohammed Ghobari and Stephanie Nebehay, “Air strikes near Yemen's capital wound six: residents,” August 12, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-idUSKCN10N1DR.
 “Resistance controls Thabat area east of Taiz,” Akhbar Yemen, August 12, 2016, http://www.yemenakhbar.com/yemen-news/444178.html.
 “Government troops close Aden-Abyan road,” 7adramout.net, August 11, 2016, http://7adramout.net/alraipress/693179/%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85--%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%88%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%82-%D8%B7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%82-%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%86--%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86.html.
 “Resistance repel an attack of the coup in Dhaleh,” Barakish, August 12, 2016, http://barakish.net/news02.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=429480.
 “Al Shabaab ambushes SNA, AU forces in Bakool,” Shabelle News, August 11, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/08/al-shabaab-launches-ambush-on-sna-au-forces-in-bakool/.
 “Somalia: govt official shot dead in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, August 12, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/08/somalia-govt-official-shot-dead-in-mogadishu/; and “Two wounded in Grenade Blast in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, August 11, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/08/two-wounded-in-grenade-blast-in-mogadishu/.
 “Somali cabinet endorses new policy on Al-Shabaab defectors,” Goobjoog News, August 12, 2016, http://goobjoog.com/english/?p=32040; and Samuel Yosef Agnon, “Al-Shabaab Defectors Complete Intensive Rehabilitation Programme In Baidoa, Somalia,” Intelligence Briefs, August 12, 2016, http://intelligencebriefs.com/al-shabaab-defectors-complete-intensive-rehabilitation-programme-in-baidoa-somalia/.