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: al Houthi movement publishes a statement addressing recent negotiations with the Yemeni Presidential Commission; anti-Houthi protestors demonstrate in Sana’a; al Houthi militants clash with al Islah tribesmen and Yemeni military in al Jawf; Ansar al Sharia militants detonate car bomb in Aden; Ansar al Sharia militants ambush Yemeni military patrol in Hadramawt; Ansar al Sharia militants assassinate local trader in Hadramawt; Yemeni airplanes bomb suspected AQAP house in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP militants attack government official’s home in Dhamar; al Houthi militants relocate forces from al Jawf and Ma’rib to Sa’ada; Yemeni military chief of staff meets with U.S. military delegation
Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali National Army forces seize key town in Bakool region from al Shabaab; al Shabaab militants clash with armed qat traders in Hiraan region; unidentified gunmen kill two Puntland police officers in Bari region; rival Somali clan militias clash in Kenya’s North Eastern Province
Yemen Security Brief
- The al Houthi movement’s political arm, Ansar Allah, published a statement on August 25 addressing recent negotiations that were conducted with President Hadi’s Presidential Commission, claiming that the Commission left early and did not have any actual power. President Hadi’s Presidential Commission stated that the al Houthi rebels rejected their proposals and claimed the al Houthis were angling for war. An anonymous Yemeni government official who participated in negotiations stated that the Yemeni government offered to resign within one month on August 23 amid ongoing al Houthi protests in Sana’a, on condition that the al Houthis cease their protests and withdraw from their camps. The government also agreed to review a recent cessation of a fuel subsidy program. However, it appears that the al Houthis have rejected this proposal.
- Thousands of anti-al Houthi protestors gathered in Sana’a on August 24, to demonstrate against the al Houthi movement’s protests.
- Al Houthi militants fought with al Islah party tribesmen and Yemeni soldiers on August 23 and 24 in al Ghail, al Jawf. Reportedly, 16 al Houthis were killed and four were injured in the clashes, while four al Islah party tribesmen were also killed and five were injured.
- Militants from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) insurgent arm, Ansar al Sharia, detonated a car bomb in the al Mansoura neighborhood in Aden on August 23, killing Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Saleh al Amri, director of military supplies for the 7th Regional Command. Following the explosion, Ansar al Sharia released a statement via Twitter on August 23, claiming credit for the car bomb and asserting al Amri had participated in the Yemeni military’s campaign against Sunnis in Shabwah and Abyan.
- Ansar al Sharia militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near a Yemeni 135th Brigade patrol along a road between Shibam and Sayun in Hadramawt on August 23. Following the explosion, the militants opened fire on the military patrol, killing two and wounding nine soldiers. Finally, Ansar al Sharia released a statement via Twitter on August 24, claiming credit for the operation against the Yemeni military patrol in Hadramawt.
- Ansar al Sharia militants, riding on a motorcycle, assassinated a local trader, Abdullah Qaid Mahioub, near the City hotel in Shihr, Hadramawt on August 22. Following the assassination, Ansar al Sharia released a statement via Twitter on August 24, claiming credit for the assassination and asserting that Mahioub was a Yemeni intelligence officer.
- Yemeni airplanes bombed a suspected AQAP militant’s house in al Qatn, Hadramawt on August 23. No casualties have been reported.
- Suspected AQAP militants attacked the home of Brigadier General Abdul Karim al Odaini, Director of Security in Dhamar, and clashed with security guards. No deaths were reported in the attack, however two security guards were injured.
- Al Houthi militants reportedly relocated a large portion of their forces from al Jawf and Ma’rib to Sa’ada on August 25, despite ongoing clashes in those governorates.
- Major General Ahmed Ali al Ashwal, the Yemeni Army’s Chief of Staff, met with a U.S. military delegation, headed by the Deputy Executive Director for Political Affairs of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), on August 24 to discuss counterterrorism challenges and the escalating al Houthi protests in Yemen.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) forces seized the town of Tiyeglow, Bakool region from al Shabaab on August 23. Furthermore, AMISOM and SNA forces seized El Garas, a village near Tiyeglow district in Bakool region, from al Shabaab on August 24. Bakool regional administrators reported that the al Shabaab militants operating in the area fled without confrontation on both occasions.
- Al Shabaab militants clashed with armed qat traders in a village near Bulo-Burde, Hiraan region on August 24. The fighting reportedly killed six combatants, including three al Shabaab militants and three qat traders.
- Unidentified gunmen killed two Puntland police officers in the Isku Shuban district of Bari region on August 24. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The Puntland administration recently deployed additional security forces to the district to provide enhanced security during ongoing clan-based conflict.
- Renewed fighting between rival Somali clan militias, from the Degodia and Garre clans, in Mandera County in Kenya’s North Eastern Province killed at least six people over the weekend. The Degodia clan militia reportedly raided Rhamu, a primarily Garre town, on August 24, sparking sporadic engagements throughout the day. Separately, unidentified assailants attacked an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle, injuring the occupants, near Rhamu on August 24. The incident prompted the Kenyan Red Cross chapter to temporarily suspend its operations in Mandera County.