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: Yemeni military and al Islah Party tribesmen clash with al Houthi militants in al Jawf; presidential committee travels to Sa'ada; thousands of Yemenis protest recent al Houthi actions in Taiz; military reinforcements arrive in Hadramawt; IED detonates in Hadramawt; Yemeni security forces defuse IED in al Bayda and al Dhaleh; U.S. State Department issues statement calling for U.S. citizens to depart from Yemen
Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA forces seize district in Bakool region from al Shabaab; roadside IED detonates near International Committee of the Red Cross vehicle in Lower Jubba region; Lower Shabelle governor announces and outlines impending AMISOM and Somali National Army offensive in Lower Shabelle region; Somali National Army forces raid headquarters of the unrecognized six state regional administration in Bay region
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni soldiers, supported by Popular Committee militiamen, clashed with al Houthi militants in Bura, al Jawf on August 20, killing seven al Houthi militants and three Popular Committee militiamen and wounding three militiamen. Anonymous sources reported that Yemeni security forces arrested an unspecified number of al Houthi militants following the clashes. Separately, al Islah Party tribesmen clashed with al Houthi militants in al Ghayl, al Jawf on August 20, killing four civilians.
- The Presidential Committee, led by Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Abid bin Dagyr, traveled to Sa'ada on August 21 to meet with Abdul Malik al Houthi, leader of the al Houthi movement.
- Thousands of Yemeni citizens launched a demonstration in Freedom Square in Taiz on August 21, condemning recent al Houthi movements around Sana’a and denouncing the al Houthis' plans to overthrow the Yemeni government.
- Yemeni Special Forces soldiers and military equipment arrived at Sayun airport in Sayun, Hadramawt on August 21. Following the deployment of the troops and supplies, the Commander of the Yemeni First Regional Command met with the General Director of Police in Hadramawt and other military leaders at Sayun airport.
- Unidentified assailants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near a passing Yemeni military patrol in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on August 20, resulting in no casualties. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
- Yemeni security forces defused an IED planted near the home of an unidentified Yemeni Brigadier General in Mukayras, al Bayda on August 18. Yemeni security forces reported that the IED could be remotely detonated by a mobile phone. No group has yet claimed responsibility. Separately, Yemeni security forces defused two IEDs near the entrance to the Yemeni 33rd Armored Brigade’s Abud base and Jirba base in al Dhaleh on August 21. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
- The U.S. State Department issued a statement on August 18, calling for U.S. citizens to depart from Yemen due to terrorist activities and the ongoing al Houthi protests in Sana’a.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces seized Tiyeglow district in Bakool region from al Shabaab militants on August 21. A local administrator reported that the al Shabaab militants withdrew without confrontation as the AMISOM and SNA forces moved into the district.
- A roadside IED detonated near an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on August 21. The vehicle’s two occupants escaped uninjured. Jubbaland security forces responded to the incident by conducting a security operation throughout the city, arresting an unspecified number of people. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
- The governor of Lower Shabelle region, Abdikadir Nur Sidi, announced an impending AMISOM and SNA offensive against al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region. Sidi explained that the offensive, part of the new Operation Indian Ocean in southern and central Somalia, will seek to drive al Shabaab from its key strongholds, such as Barawe, Bulo Marer, and Kurtunwarey, in the region.
- SNA forces raided the headquarters of the unrecognized six state southwestern regional administration, led by Abdullahi Yusuf, in Baidoa, Bay region on August 21. The raid came after elders and officials loyal to the administration reportedly refused to vacate the premises. The Somali Federal Government recently sent a delegation to Baidoa to assist in the formation of the recognized three state southwestern regional administration.