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: PLC appoints a new 2nd military district commander; Houthi forces crack down on protests in northern Sana’a governorate; SDF commander dies in clashes with Giants Brigades in southern Yemen; Houthi representatives meet with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders

Somalia: SNA forces and anti-al Shabaab militia clear al Shabaab–controlled villages in central Somalia with US drone strike assistance.

Yemen Security Brief:

The Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) appointed a new 2nd military district commander on August 13.[i] The PLC appointed Brigadier Faez Mansour Qahtan to replace Faraj Salmin al Bahsani.

Houthi forces cracked down on a sit-in protest against Houthi encroachment in the Hamdan district, northern Sana’a governorate, on August 12.[ii] Tribal sources claimed the Houthis shot at protestors, arrested dozens of villagers, and stormed several houses.

The UAE–backed Giants Brigades reportedly killed a Shabwah Defense Forces (SDF) commander in clashes in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on August 13.[iii] Fighting between the two sides broke out due to a territorial dispute over government buildings in the area. The Giants Brigades and SDF took control of Ataq after forcing the Shabwah Special Security Forces and Yemeni Army to withdraw from the city on August 10.[iv]

Houthi Supreme Political Council member Muhammad Saleh al Nuaimi led a meeting with a representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group on August 13.[v] Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein al Ezzi also attended the meeting. Al Nuaimi reiterated Houthi support for Palestinian fighters and broader Arab-Islamic unity.

Somalia Security Brief:

A US drone strike helped the 21st and 27th SNA divisions and Ma’awisley militia forces clear al Shabaab from Teedan, Sulmo, and Raqsa villages in Hiraan region, central Somalia, on August 14.[vi] The US drone strike killed at least 13 al Shabaab militants.[vii] Security officials claimed the anti-al Shabaab ground forces killed at least 14 militants and arrested several others.[viii] Many al Shabaab fighters reportedly blew up the water wells in the villages and fled before the troops arrived.[ix]

[i] @Alsakaniali, Twitter, August 13, 2022,

[ii] @Alsakaniali, Twitter, August 12, 2022,

[iii] Al Alam, “Yemen: A Brigade Commander in the Shabwah Defense Militia was killed in clashes with the STC,” August 14, 2022,

[iv] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 10, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 10, 2022,

[v] Al Houthi Ansar Allah, “Senior political member al Nuaimi meets the representative of the Islamic Jihad movement and bless the victories of the Palestinian resistance,” August 13, 2022,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Government forces have taken over al Shabaab residents in Hiraan region,” August 14, 2022,; SONNA, “SNA takes over territories from the terrorists in parts of Hiraan region,” August 14, 2022,

[vii] @sntvnews1, Twitter, August 14, 2022,

[viii] @sntvnews1, Twitter, August 14, 2022,

[ix] Radio Risaala, “Government forces have taken over al Shabaab residents in Hiraan region.”

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