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: Houthi negotiating delegation travels to Amman; US ambassador confirms presence of US military in Yemen; STC-backed military leaders inspect positions in Abyan; top STC official meets with military leader in Aden; top STC official hints at further operations in Hadramawt
Somalia: Al Shabaab conducts “near simultaneous” raids on four targets in Mogadishu; SNA clears several villages in southern Somalia; SNA secures another village in central Somalia; al Shabaab mortars Somali Region forces base near the Ethiopian border in southwestern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
The head of the Houthi National Military and Security Committee for negotiations left Sana’a for Amman, Jordan for the third round of negotiations on reopening roads in Taiz governorate, southwestern Yemen on August 25.[i]
US Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Fagin confirmed the presence of US forces in Yemen during an interview with local Yemeni news channel Belqees on August 25. Fagin said the “small American force” works to “combat terrorism.”[ii]
Top STC-backed military leaders in Abyan governorate inspected the positions of STC-backed forces in Abyan governorate between Shoqra town, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, and Ahwar district, Abyan governorate on August 24.[iii] The STC-aligned units took control of most of Abyan’s coastal highway on August 23 from units under Yemeni government control.
The STC’s National Assembly president met with the Facilities Protection Forces (FPF) commander in Aden on August 26. The FPF are responsible for protecting Yemeni government facilities in Aden. The FPF commander said that his forces are “under the supervision of [STC President Aydarus al Zubaidi].”[iv] The former Yemeni vice president’s newspaper claimed that the STC aimed to stage a coup on August 23.
The STC’s National Assembly president met with local powerbrokers from Hadramawt governorate, which consists of eastern Yemen’s valley and coastal regions.[v] The parties discussed “combating terrorism in Shabwa and Abyan” and the inclusion of Hadramawt in “these operations.” The STC also said it would respond to “popular demands” of locals to “liberate” Hadramawt Valley.
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab attacked three SNA posts and a police station in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid, Howl Wadag, Kahda, and Hodan districts on August 25.[vi] Al Shabaab said the attacks were “near simultaneous.” Al Shabaab claimed to kill one soldier in Yaqshid, wound two in Howl Wadag, and destroy the targeted police station in Hodan.
The SNA cleared several villages from al Shabaab near Janaale, Marka district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on August 25.[vii] SNA officials claimed to kill “many” al Shabaab troops and wound at least 20.
The Somali National Army (SNA) 27th division secured El Ali village, which lies nearly 50 miles from Beledweyne in central Somalia’s Hiraan region, on August 26. Military officials claimed al Shabaab fled the area in advance of the troops.[viii]
Al Shabaab mortared a Somali Regional Liyu police camp near Yeed, near the Ethiopian-Somali border in Bakool region, southwestern Somalia, on August 25.[ix]
[iii] Al Hizam Security Forces Media Center, “The Coastal Belt Command is inspecting the arrangements for the reworking of the security points in Shoqra and Khobar al Maraqsha,” August 24, 2022, https://alhezam-media.com/site/2022/08/25/%d9%82%d9%8a%d8%a7%d8%af%d8%a9-%d8%ad%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b3%d8%a7%d8%ad%d9%84-%d8%aa%d8%aa%d9%81%d9%82%d8%af-%d8%aa%d8%b1%d8%aa%d9%8a%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a5%d8%b9%d8%a7%d8%af%d8%a9/.
[iv] SMA News, “Major General Bin Brik praises the role of the government installations guard forces in the capital, Aden,” August 26, 2022, https://smanews.org/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ac%d9%86%d9%88%d8%a8-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b9%d8%b1%d8%a8%d9%8a/293500/.
[vi] SITE Intelligence Group, “Concurrent with Hayat Hotel Raid, Shabaab Fighters Stormed 7 Military Bases; Group Claims 52 Attacks in 9 Days,” August 25, 2022, https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Jihadist-Threat-Statements/concurrent-with-hayat-hotel-raid-shabaab-fighters-stormed-7-military-bases-group-claims-52-attacks-in-9-days.html; Radio al Furqaan, “An attack inflicted damage on DF soldiers in Mogadishu,” August 25, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/08/faahfaahin-weerar-khasaare-lagu-gaarsiiyay-askarta-df-oo-ka-dhacay-muqdisho/.
[viii] Radio Mogadishu, “The Army has removed al Shabaab terrorists from areas of G/Hiraan,” August 26, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/ciidanka-xoogga-oo-deegaanno-g-hiiran-ka-tirsan-ka-saaray-argagixisada-al-shabaab/.
[ix] Radio Risaala, “An artillery attack on a police station,” August 25, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/weerar-madaafiic-ah-oo-lagu-qaaady-saldhiga-ciidamada-liyuu-boolis-ee-gobolka-bakool/.