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: Saudi and Emirati delegation travels to Aden for talks with STC; Islamic State in Yemen claims assassination in Aden

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab releases speech by group’s media chief; al Shabaab claims attack on US forces near Kismayo

Yemen Security Brief

A delegation of Saudi and Emirati officials arrived in the de facto capital of Yemen, Aden, on August 15 in an effort to convince the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, to participate in negotiations with the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The STC seized effective control of Aden from the Hadi government on August 10 after days of clashes. The Hadi government has demanded that the STC withdraw from the positions it seized as a precondition for talks. Anti-STC media claimed that STC forces withdrew from the presidential palace in Aden on August 15. The STC separately released a statement demanding greater self-governance and an end to the deployment of northern military forces in southern Yemen on August 15.[1]

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed to assassinate a man in the Mansoura district of Aden on August 16. The Islamic State in Yemen also released a statement accusing the STC and Hadi government of being apostates.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab’s media organization released a recording of a speech by Ali Mohamed Rage aka Ali Dhere, the head of al Shabaab’s media branch, on August 11. Dhere threatened foreign institutions and governments that operate in Somalia and mocked the Somali Federal Government (SFG)’s inability to prevent attacks in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Al Shabaab separately released the third installment of its “Then Fight the Leaders of Disbelief” film series on August 14. Al Shabaab denounced governments that it views as illegitimate and justified its operations against the SFG in the film. Al Shabaab also advised Somali civilians to avoid hotels or fortified buildings frequented by foreigners or SFG officials in order to avoid al Shabaab attacks.[3]

Al Shabaab claimed to attack a vehicle carrying US forces with an improvised explosive device (IED) near Kismayo, a port city and the capital of Jubbaland State in southern Somalia, on August 15. The attack is unconfirmed.[4]

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[1] “The Southern Transitional Council issues an important political statement,” STC Aden, August 15, 2019,; “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 12, 2019”, Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 12, 2019,; AFP News Agency, Twitter, August 15, 2019,; and “The government receives the Maasheq Palace in Aden from the Transitional Council,” Yemen Akhbar, August 15, 2019,

[2] Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 16, 2019,; and “A second assassination incident in Aden and ISIS claims the operation,” 26 Sep, August 16, 2019,

[3] “In Eid Al Adha Speech, Shabaab Spokesman Threatens Foreign Institutions Seeking to Extract Somali Resources,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 15, 2019, English Translation is available by subscription at; and Thomas Joscelyn, “Shabaab’s jihad against the ‘leaders of disbelief,’” Long War Journal, August 14, 2019,

[4] “Shabaab Claims Bombing U.S. Forces Outside Kismayo,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 15, 2019, English translation is available by subscription at

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