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: U.S. Embassy to close on Sunday; President Hadi meets with President Obama; Republican Guard soldiers clash with Presidential Guard in Sana’a; gunmen attack power lines in Ma’rib; security forces seize weapons shipment in al Hudaydah; anti-al Houthi sheikh returns to Yemen; southern soldier killed in Aden; gunmen kill Saudi diplomat in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Puntland president accuses Somali government of undermining Puntland security; al Shabaab releases eulogy for slain AQAP deputy leader; al Shabaab militants attack Somali and AMISOM bases in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; unknown gunmen kill two in Galkayo, Mudug region; meeting between AMISOM contributing countries to take place in Kampala, Uganda; Somali cabinet to reassess security institutions; Eritrean government recognizes Somali government

Yemen Security Brief

The U.S. State Department said on August 1 that it will close embassies and consulates in the Middle East, including in Yemen, on August 4 due to an unspecified security threat. U.S. officials said the warning was “al Qaeda related.” The State Department warned on August 2 that the threat of attack from al Qaeda and associated movements was focused in the Middle East and North Africa region, and was “possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.” The alert lasts through the end of August.[1]

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi met with President Obama in Washington on August 1. President Obama confirmed his intention to close the Guantanamo bay facility, and President Hadi promised to create a rehabilitation center for violent extremists returning to Yemen.[2]

Soldiers from the dissolved Republican Guard clashed with the Presidential Guard outside the presidential palace in Sana’a on August 2. Two died and five were wounded.[3]

Gunmen attacked the power lines in al Damashqa, Ma’rib governorate on August 1, which caused the Ma’rib gas station to go out of service.[4]

Security forces in Khawkha, al Hudaydah governorate seized a smuggled shipment of Turkish-made weapons on August 1.[5]

Anti-al Houthi activist Sheikh Othman Majli returned to Yemen on August 1 after three years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[6]

A southern soldier was killed in the Air Defense Brigade camp in Aden on August 1. Some soldiers claimed they were attacked, but others said there was no attack. The soldier was killed inside the special operations room.[7]

Unknown gunmen killed a Saudi diplomatic official in front of his house in Sana’a on August 2.[8] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Puntland President Abdirahman Farole accused the Somali government of trying to undermine Puntland’s security and constitution. Farole said the relationship between the two governments was “on the verge of collapse.”[9]

Al Shabaab leadership released a eulogy for former al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) deputy leader Said al Shihri, whom AQAP confirmed killed  in a drone strike on July 17.[10]

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali and AMISOM bases outside Beledweyne, Hiraan region on August 1. The fighting lasted several hours and the casualties from the incident are not known.[11]

Unknown gunmen killed two people in Galkayo, Mudug region on August 1. The reason behind the shootings is not known.[12]

A meeting between the heads of state of the six AMISOM contributing countries is planned for August 3 in Kampala, Uganda. The leaders will discuss AMISOM’s relationship with the Somali government and local political institutions.[13]

The Somali cabinet decided to reassess the twenty Somali security institutions in place in response to increased attacks in Mogadishu.[14]

The Eritrean government announced that it fully recognized the presidency and government of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on August 8, almost a full year after the new government was installed.[15]

[1] “US Embassies to Shut on Sunday Over ‘Security Threat,’” BBC, August 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens,” Embassy of the United States in Sana’a, Yemen, August 1, 2013. Available:
Shaun Tandon, “US warns of Mideast Al-Qaeda threat in August,” AFP, August 3, 2013. Available:
[2] “Joint Statement by the United States and Yemen,” White House, August 1, 2013. Available:
[3] “Two Killed in Clashes Between Rival Factions in the Yemeni Army,” Reuters, August 2, 2013. Available:
[4] “Ma’rib Gas Station Goes Completely Out of Service,” Barakish, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Khawkha Security Checkpoint Stops Smuggling Attempt of Large Quantity of Turkish Pistols This Morning,” Hadramawt Press, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Most Prominent anti-Houthi Returns to Yemen After Years Abroad,” Wefaq Press, August 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Southern Soldier Killed Inside Air Defense Camp in Aden,” Sada Aden, August 2, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Saudi Diplomat Killed in the Yemeni Capital Sana’a,” Hadramawt, August 1, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] Farole: Out Relationship with the Central Somali government is on verge of collapsing,” Shabelle, August 2, 2013. Available:
[10] “Shabaab Gives Eulogy for Slain AQAP Deputy Leader,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 1, 2013. Available at SITE.
[11] “Confrontations at the Outskirts of Beledweyne Town,” Shabelle, August 2, 2013. Available:
[12] “Two Civilians Killed in Galkayo Town,” Dalsan Radio, August 2, 2013. Available:
[13] “Somalia: Regional Heads to Meet Over AMISOM Troops,” Shabelle, August 2, 2013. Available:
[14] The Somali government to Review Security Institutions in the Coming Days,” Shabelle, August 2, 2013. Available:
[15] “Eritrea Pledges Support to Somalia Government,” Shabelle, August 2, 2013. Available:
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