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: Saudi Arabia and UAE form committee to oversee ceasefire in Shabwah; al Houthi movement claims drone attack against Riyadh; AQAP ambushes UAE-backed forces in Abyan
Horn of Africa: SNA forces seize al Shabaab-held town in Hiraan region; US-backed SNA forces kill al Shabaab commander in Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced a joint committee to oversee a truce between the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen on August 25. Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced the joint committee in a communique in which both countries reaffirmed their commitment to Yemen’s territorial integrity and the Hadi government and called for urgent peace talks in, Saudi Arabia. Pro-STC forces began clashing with Hadi government-aligned forces in , the capital of Shabwah, on August 21, two weeks after the STC seized the de facto capital of Yemen from the Hadi government. The STC declared a ceasefire in Shabwah on August 23 but called on its forces to remain in their positions in the governorate. Hadi government-aligned forces subsequently took control of , an industrial port town in Shabwah, and Azzan, the governorate’s second largest city.
The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct a drone attack against a Saudi military target in , the capital of Saudi Arabia, on August 26. The al Houthi movement claimed to use multiple drones in the attack, which is the first attack the al Houthi movement has claimed against Riyadh in over a year. The Saudi-led coalition denied that there was any attack on Riyadh. The al Houthi movement separately claimed to conduct multiple drone attacks on King Khaled Air Base and regional airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia on August 24 and August 25. The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept the drones involved in those attacks.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting UAE-backed al Hizam Security Forces in district in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on August 24. AQAP militants then ambushed a convoy of emergency vehicles that was transporting the wounded into neighboring district.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Somali National Army (SNA) forces backed by Djiboutian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces seized Burweyn town in Hiraan region in central Somalia from al Shabaab on August 25. The SNA claimed that the town had been a major tax hub for al Shabaab.
US-backed SNA forces conducted an operation against al Shabaab in Sablale town in Lower Shabelle region on August 25. SNA forces claimed to kill 18 militants, including a senior commander named Mohammed Dubow along with the son of al Shabaab’s intelligence chief. The Kenyan government previously offered a reward of 20,000 US dollars for information on Mohammed Dubow.
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 “Command of the joint forces of ''Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen'' stresses necessity of commitment by all parties in Shabwah province to continued ceasefire, maintaining truce,” Saudi Press Agency, August 25, 2019, https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1961765#1961765; “ Yemen’s separatists declare ceasefire in clash with government forces in Shabwah,” Reuters, August 23, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/yemens-separatists-declare-ceasefire-in-clash-with-government-forces-in-shabwa-idUSKCN1VD28Y; “Saudi-led coalition acts to stabilize south Yemen as allies face off,” Reuters, August 25, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-yemmen-uae-coalition/saudi-led-coalition-acts-to-stabilize-south-yemen-as-allies-face-off-idUSKCN1VG028; “The Yemeni Government takes control of Shabwah and the Emirati-forces withdraw to Hadramout,” Al Jazeera, August 26, 2019, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2019/8/26/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%81-%D8%B9%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86; “A Joint Statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE,” Saudi Press Agency, August 26, 2019, https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1961835#1961835; and “UAE, Saudi Arabia reaffirm political, military and relief efforts in Yemen,” Emirati News Agency, August 26, 2019, https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395302781785
 Al Masirah, Twitter, August 26, 2019, https://twitter.com/MasirahTV/status/1165934920109350912; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 25, 2019, https://twitter.com/MasirahTV/status/1165680018703507457; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 25, 2019, https://twitter.com/MasirahTV/status/1165474611271806976; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 24, 2019, https://twitter.com/MasirahTV/status/1165471093123178497; “Coalition Forces intercept and shoot down a drone launched by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia from Sanaa,” Saudi Press Agency, August 25, 2019, https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1961471; “Coalition Forces Intercept and Shoot Down One Drone in Yemeni Airspace Launched by Houthi Militia from Al-Jouf Towards Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Saudi Press Agency, August 26, 2019, https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1961810; “Coalition Forces intercept and shoot down two Houthi militia-launched drones in Yemeni airspace,” Saudi Press Agency, August 25, 2019, https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1961759; “Saudi-led coalition acts to stabilize south Yemen as allies face off,” Reuters, August 25, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-yemmen-uae-coalition/saudi-led-coalition-acts-to-stabilize-south-yemen-as-allies-face-off-idUSKCN1VG028.
 “Details of the ambush targeting al Hizam forces in Abyan,” Aden Gad, August 24, 2019, http://adengad.net/news/405397/; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 25, 2019, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/1165636015534596096.
 Abdirisak M Tuuryare, “Somali army seize major Al Shabaab taxation hub,” Mareeg Media, August 26, 2019, https://mareeg.com/somali-army-seize-major-al-shabaab-taxation-hub/.
 “Kenya-wanted Al-Shabab commander ‘killed’ in Somalia,” Garowe Online, August 25, 2019, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/kenya-wanted-al-shabab-commander-killed-in-somalia ; and Abdirisak M Tuuryare, “18 killed as Somalia, US troops target Al Shabaab,” Mareeg Media, August 25, 2019, https://mareeg.com/18-killed-as-somalia-us-troops-target-al-shabaab/