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: Yemen has discussed acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles from the U.S.; car bomb kills soldiers in Hadramawt; security forces arrest AQAP members in Taiz; al Houthis continue attacks in Damaj, Sa’ada; al Houthis welcome government apology; U.S. Treasury sanctions commander of Lebanese Hezbollah’s Yemen operations

Horn of Africa: Security forces repel attack at Kismayo International Airport; militants attack hotel in Baidoa, Bay region; Jubbaland negotiations reach standstill in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; security forces foiled twenty attacks in Lower Shabelle

Yemen Security Brief

  • President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi said on August 22 that he has discussed acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the U.S. He said the reason the U.S. conducted airstrikes in Yemen was because the Yemeni army did not have the technology, but that it would be capable of operating the drones. Several governorates have recently witnessed mass demonstrations against American airstrikes.[1]
  • A car bomb exploded at a checkpoint in Shibam, Hadramawt governorate on August 23. It killed two soldiers and wounded six others.[2]
  • Security forces arrested six people accused of various crimes as well as two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in Salh, Taiz governorate on August 23. Officials said the two AQAP members were plotting attacks in the governorate.[3]
  • A source in Damaj, Sa’ada governorate said the al Houthis continued carrying out sniper attacks and shelling the city and surrounding villages on August 23 despite ongoing mediation. Two people died and fifteen others were wounded in al Houthi attacks on August 22.[4]
  • The al Houthi front group Ansar Allah welcomed the government’s apology for the war in northern Yemen. The Southern Movement has rejected the government’s official apology for the 1994 war.[5]
  • The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four Lebanese Hezbollah leaders on August 22. One of the four leaders, Khalil Harb, is responsible for Hezbollah operations in Yemen. The sanctions froze any money the militants have in the U.S. Officials expect other international institutions to impose similar sanctions.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • AMISOM forces defended Kismayo International Airport from an al Shabaab attack on August 22. The attack began with al Shabaab probing for weak points on August 21. Militants returned the following morning, but AMISOM troops destroyed their vehicle and inflicted several casualties.[7]
  • Militants threw two grenades into a hotel in Baidoa, Bay region on August 22 where security officials from the Somali Federal Government were staying. No casualties were reported.[8]
  • Talks between the Somali Federal Government and Ras Kamboni Brigade leader Ahmed Madobe began on August 21 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The talks have not resolved differences over the administration of Jubbaland, and observers say they will be suspended if an agreement is not reached soon.[9]
  • The governor of Lower Shabelle region said that security forces stopped more than twenty attacks in the region during the month of August. The planned attacks included blowing up hospitals and district offices.[10]

[1] “Yemen Asks U.S. For Drones to Fight al Qaeda,” Reuters, August 22, 2013. Available:
[2] “Suicide Car Bomb Kills 2 Soldiers at Checkpoint in South Yemen,” AP, August 23, 2013. Available:
[3] “Arrest of 6 Wanted and 2 from al Qaeda in Taiz,” al Khabar Now, August 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Mediation Committee Reaches Agreement to Stop Shooting Between al Houthis and Salafists in Sa’ada,” Mareb Press, August 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Al Houthis Welcome the Government’s Apology for the War in Sa’ada,” al Watan Ye, August 23, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “American Sanctions on the Top Hezbollah Man in Yemen,” al Ain Online, August 2013, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “AMISOM Forces Repel al Shabaab Attack in Kismayo,” Mustaqbal Radio, August 23, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Baidoa Grenade Attacks Target Federal Govt Officials,” Garowe Online, August 23, 2013. Available:
[9] “Somali Federal Government, Raskamboni Militia Commander Fail to Reach Agreement,” Dalsan Radio, August 23, 2013. Available:
[10] “Lower Shabelle Residents Help Security Forces Thwart al Shabaab Attacks,” Sabahi Online, August 22, 2013. Available:
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