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: Hadi-allied forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh fighters in Taiz; coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh positions in Sana’a; suspected AQAP militants detonate SVBIED in Lawder, Abyan governorate; UN Secretary-General calls on Yemeni factions to end hostilities

Horn of Africa: U.S. backed-Somali Special Operations Forces kill three al Shabaab fighters in Abdalla Biroole area, Lower Jubba region; suspected al Shabaab militants attempt to assassinate police chief in Bardhere city, Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and popular resistance forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz city on August 17. Hadi-allied forces clashed near the Republican Palace in central Taiz city, recaptured positions in Dhabab district from al Houthi-Saleh forces, and advanced toward al Dha’ab and al Maqahiya areas, Taiz governorate. Al Houthi-Saleh forces severed supply routes between Taiz city and Aden city on August 17, according to a Saudi news outlet.[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh-held locations across Sana’a city and Sana’a governorate on August 18, as Hadi government and popular resistance forces continue an assault on the capital. Airstrikes struck positions in al Hifa in eastern Taiz city, al Dhabwa military base in southern Sana’a city, Jabal al Reed in northern Sana’a city, and Wadi al Ajbar in Sanhan district, Sana’a governorate.[2]
  • Militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) targeting Hadi government troops at a checkpoint in al Ayn town in Lawder district, Abyan governorate on August 18, killing at least three soldiers. AQAP militants are likely responsible for the attack. Hadi-allied popular resistance forces cleared Lawder city of AQAP militants on August 17. AQAP militants detonated an SVBIED in Shaqra town on August 15, one day after Hadi-allied forces cleared Shaqra, Zinjibar and Ja’ar towns of AQAP militants.[3]
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Yemeni parties to “immediately cease all hostilities” on August 18. The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet to address the Yemeni civil war next week.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Special Operations Forces (SOF) accompanied by U.S. advisors killed three al Shabaab militants in the Abdalla Biroole area, located outside of Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on August 17. Al Shabaab claimed to kill multiple Somali forces in the firefight, but no casualties are confirmed. The U.S. trained-Somali special forces “Danab” brigade took part in the fighting.[5]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants attempted to assassinate a police chief in Bardhere city in Gedo region on August 17. Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in the police chief’s home. SNA and AMISOM forces drove al Shabaab militants from multiple villages in Bardhere on August 15.[6]

A previous version of the Gulf of Aden Security Review identified the location of the coalition airstrikesas al Hifa in eastern Taiz city. It has been corrected to al Hifa in eastern Sana’a city.

[1] “Resistance launches two simultaneous attacks on al Houthi positions in east and west of Taiz city,” al Masdar, August 17, 2016,; and Mohammed Basha, Twitter, August 18, 2016,
[2] “Coalition strikes locations south and east of Sana’a,” Barakish, August 18, 2016,
[3] “Dead and injured in suicide attack that targeted an army grouping in Abyan,” Barakish, August 18, 2016,
[4] UN Chief renews call for end to hostilities in Yemen, al Arabiya, August 18, 2016,; and “Security Council to hold new meeting for the sake of Yemen,” Barakish, August 18, 2016,
[5] “Al-Shabab fighters killed by SNA in AMISOM ambush,” Shabelle News, August 18, 2016,; “Somali Forces, Backed by U.S. Raid Al Shabaab Base,” Shabelle News, August 18, 2016,; and “Al Shabaab claims to have killed a U.S. soldier in Raid,” Shabelle News, August 18, 2016,
[6] “Somalia: Bardere police chief survives bomb attack,” Shabelle News, August 17, 2016,
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