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: US plans to open direct talks with al Houthi movement; al Houthi movement claims drone attack on air base in southern Saudi Arabia; AQAP claims multiple attacks on the Islamic State in Yemen; AQAP releases statement addressing clashes in southern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab commander threatens Jubbaland politicians; SFG airlifts armored vehicles to Dhusamareb ahead of reconciliation conference

Yemen Security Brief

The US is making arrangements to initiate direct talks with the al Houthi movement in an effort to end the war in Yemen, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The talks would be the first direct negotiations between the al Houthi movement and US government since 2015. The talks would be led by US Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel and would be held in Oman.[1]

The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct a drone attack targeting King Khaled Air Base near Khamis Mushayt city in southwestern Saudi Arabia on August 26. The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept the drone in Yemeni airspace.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed five attacks against Islamic State in Yemen militants in the Qayfa area in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen between August 18 and August 26. AQAP also claimed to raid a military position belonging to UAE-backed al Hizam Security Forces in Mudiyah district in Abyan governorate on August 26.[3]

AQAP released a statement on August 26 addressing recent clashes between southern Yemeni secessionists and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in southern Yemen. AQAP claimed that the clashes were a result of foreign conspiracies and called on southern Yemenis to renounce the Saudi-led coalition and the US.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab leader Sheikh Mohammed Abu Abdallah threatened three politicians from Somalia’s Jubbaland State in a statement on August 26. Abdallah stated that al Shabaab would target three politicians who have each claimed to be the duly elected President of Jubbaland following elections last week. The politicians are incumbent President Ahmed Madobe, Abdinasir Serar, and Abdirashid Mohamed Hiddig.[5]

The Somali Federal Government (SFG) airlifted weapons and bullet-proof vehicles to Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State in north-central Somalia, on August 26. The SFG recently reached an agreement with the Sufi militia Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a to integrate the militia into SFG security forces. Dhusamareb will host a reconciliation conference for Galmudug clans in the coming days.[6]

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[1] Dion Nissenbaum and Warren P. Strobel, “U.S. Plans to Open Direct Talks With Iran-Backed Houthis in Yemen,” The Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2019,

[2] “Again .. Aircraft targeting King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushayt,” al Masirah, August 26, 2019,; and “Joint Forces of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen Intercept and Shoot Down A Drone In Yemeni Airspace Launched By Houthi Militia from Sanaa,” Saudi Press Agency, August 27, 2019,

[3] “AQAP Focuses Attacks Solely on IS in al-Bayda', Claims 3 Strikes on SBF in Abyan,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 26, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[4]  “AQAP Addresses Power Struggle Among Competing Saudi and UAE Allies in the South of Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, August 26, 2019, English Translation is available by subscription at

[5] “Al-shabaab Threatens Jubaland leader and his rival politicians,” Radio Kulmiye, August 27, 2019.

[6] Abdirisak M Tuuryare, “Somalia airlifts weapons, bullet proof vehicles into Dhusamareb,” Mareeg Media, August 27, 2019,

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