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: Hadi government-aligned forces recapture parts of Aden; STC President addresses clashes in southern Yemen; al Houthi movement claims drone attacks in southwestern Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: Sufi militia accuses SFG of violating reconciliation agreement; Jubbaland President lifts travel ban on SFG officials

Yemen Security Brief

Hadi government-aligned forces recaptured several districts in Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, from forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) on August 28. Hadi government-aligned forces also claimed to occupy the city’s airport and presidential palace. The STC, which is a southern Yemeni secessionist organization, seized control of Aden on August 10 after days of clashes. Pro-STC forces then seized control of multiple locations in neighboring Abyan governorate and attempted to seize the capital of Shabwah, another southern governorate. Hadi government-aligned forces went on the counteroffensive and captured multiple STC controlled areas in Shabwah and Abyan between August 24 and August 27.[1]

STC President Aydarus al Zubaidi released a statement on August 27 reaffirming the STC’s commitment to the Saudi-led coalition’s mission against the al Houthi movement and terrorist groups. Zubaidi also accused the Hadi government of conducting an invasion of southern Yemen and compared recent military operations by Hadi government-aligned forces to Yemen’s 1994 civil war.[2]

The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct two drone attacks against Saudi military sites in Najran and Jizan regions in southwestern Saudi Arabia on August 28. The Saudi-led coalition has not confirmed the attacks.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Sheikh Shakir Ali Hassan, leader of the Sufi militia Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ), accused the Somali Federal Government (SFG) of withdrawing from a recent reconciliation agreement on August 27. The agreement calls for ASWJ forces to integrate into SFG security forces. Hassan also called on ASWJ’s followers to defend their territory in Galmudug State in north-central Somalia. SFG Interior Minister Abdi Mohamed Sabriye said that the SFG is abiding by the agreement with ASJW.[4]

Ahmed Madobe, the President of Jubbaland State in southern Somalia, lifted a travel ban on SFG officials on August 28. Madobe had previously banned all SFG officials from traveling to Jubbaland around state elections, which were held on August 22. The SFG has refused to recognize Madobe’s reelection.[5]

[1] “Yemen government forces take full control of Aden: Minister,” Al Jazeera, August 28, 2019,; Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen government forces storm Aden, seize airport: residents, officials,” Reuters, August 28, 2019,; Muammar al Eryani, Twitter, August 28, 2019,; “The Yemeni Government controls Shabwa and the UAE forces withdraw to Hadramout,” Al Jazeera, August 26, 2019,  and “ Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 12, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 12, 2019,

[2] “President Aydarus al Zubaidi addresses the southern people in an important speech on developments in the national arena,” STC Aden, August 27, 2019,

[3] “’Qasef 2k’ conducts two attack operations targeting Najran and Jizan,” al Masirah, August 28, 2019,

[4] “ASWJ blames FGS of agreements revoke, threats to defend its territory,” Goobjoog News, August 28, 2019,

[5] “Madobe lifts ban on FGS officials to Jubbaland,” Goobjoog News, August 28, 2019,

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