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: Fighting in Arhab continues; opposition fighters attack army checkpoints in Taiz, airstrikes kill and injure several civilians; jihadist releases video showing takeover of Zinjibar; U.S. ambassador to Yemen calls for immediate transfer of power
Horn of Africa: AMISOM soldiers kill would-be suicide bombers in Mogadishu; army offensive against al Shabaab continues in Mogadishu; Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a forces clash with al Shabaab in Gedo region; Kenyan official promises crackdown on al Shabaab recruiters in-country
Yemen Security Brief
- Republican Guard forces continued to shell villages in Arhab district on the outskirts of Sana’a, killing two people and injuring twelve others. Army reinforcements have arrived in Arhab over the past few days.
- The Defense Ministry reported that opposition fighters attacked army checkpoints in Taiz, killing two soldiers and wounding four others. Reported Yemeni airstrikes in northern Taiz also killed two civilians and injured three others.
- A jihadist released a video showing Ansar al Sharia militants seizing control of the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate. The video, titled “Conquest of Zinjibar,” contains footage of fighters shooting at enemy forces, entering government buildings, preparing an ambush, holding prisoners, and stepping on a picture of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The video ends with a montage of slain fighters.
- United States ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein urged Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi to immediately begin a transfer of power.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- AMISOM soldiers shot and killed two would-be suicide bombers when they tried to infiltrate a military base near Florenza junction, east of Bakara Market, in Mogadishu’s Wardhigley district. Two soldiers were killed in an exchange of gunfire with the assailants. AMISOM spokesman Paddy Ankunda said the attackers were disguised as Somali soldiers and “killed before they were able to detonate their suicide vests.” Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage claimed responsibility for the attack. Al Shabaab reported that three American trainers and eight Ugandan commanders were killed in the attack.
- Somali government troops and AMISOM forces are trying to wrest control of a football stadium and other areas from al Shabaab as part of an ongoing offensive in Mogadishu.
- Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a forces clashed with al Shabaab fighters in Busar village near Elwaq town in Gedo region, leaving at least twenty people dead and ten others wounded. Fighting erupted after Ahlu Sunna forces attacked al Shabaab strongholds in Busar. Secretary of Defense Isaq Hussein Mursal claimed that ten al Shabaab fighters were killed and twenty others were wounded.
- Ndegwa Muhoro, Kenya’s Criminal Investigations Director, said he will make sure that al Shabaab-linked recruiters in the country “are apprehended and prosecuted in accordance with the law.” Tourism Minister Najib Balala and lawmaker Amina Abdalla are two key suspects identified in the UN’s investigation of al Shabaab fundraising and recruitment operations in Kenya.