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 may have facilitated a limited agreement to defuse internal Yemeni government tensions in Abyan governorate; STC-aligned security forces seize AQAP weapons stockpile
Somalia: Al Shabaab threatens Kenya; al Shabaab roadside IED kills SNA soldiers in southern Somalia; SNA and ATMIS forces clear villages in southern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
A Yemeni analyst said on August 28 that Saudi Arabia may have facilitated a limited agreement to defuse tension in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen.[i] Southern Transitional Council (STC)-aligned forces continued their operations in eastern Abyan governorate.[ii] The STC-aligned Abyan Military Axis seized Jabal Arqoub, near Shoqra city, on August 27 and continued “sweeping operations” in eastern Ahwar district, according to STC media.[iii] The government-aligned Special Security Forces reoccupied their headquarters in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate on August 28.[iv] The pro-government 5th Presidential Protection Brigade left Abyan governorate the same day.[v]
The al Hizam Security Forces in Abyan governorate claimed that they seized an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) weapons stockpile during a raid in Qurn al Klasi, Abyan governorate, on August 27.[vi]
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab threatened to target Kenyan cities and troops if Kenyan forces do not withdraw from Somalia on August 28.[vii] An English-language statement said Kenya was at a “crossroads” following its general elections on August 9 and called on Kenya to reevaluate its failed policy in Somalia and withdraw. The statement concluded by threatening “serious consequences” and further attacks on Kenyan towns and troops if Kenya remains in Somalia. The Kenyan Defence Forces went on high alert on August 29 in response to the threats.[viii]
Al Shabaab detonated a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers on a motorcycle near Barire village, Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on August 28.[ix] The explosion killed two soldiers and wounded a third.
The SNA 14th October Brigade and Ugandan African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces cleared al Shabaab from several villages in Qoryooley district near Janale town, Lower Shabelle region, on August 27.[x] The brigade commander said security forces inflicted “heavy losses” and burnt an al Shabaab boat.
[i] Mareb Press, “Is there a deal in Abyan, the STC handing over government forces their headquarter in ZInjibar, and there is talk of understandings?” August 27, 2022, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=186695; and al Mashhad al Yemeni, “The first direct Saudi intervention to end the differences between the army and the Transitional Council.. and these are the first results..!” August 28, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/238290.
[ii] SMANews, “Brig. Gen. al Nubi: Operation Arrows of the East will continue until the completion of the cleansing of the central region of Abyan,” August 28, 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/293934/.
[iii] Al Hizam Security Forces Media Center, “The al Hizam Security Forces continue to deploy and take over positions east of Ahwar and the Arqoub Triangle,” August 27, 2022, https://alhezam-media.com/site/2022/08/27/%d9%82%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ad%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d9%85%d9%86%d9%8a-%d8%aa%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%b5%d9%84-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a5%d9%86%d8%aa%d8%b4%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%b3/.
[iv] al Mashhad al Yemeni, “The first direct Saudi intervention to end the differences between the army and the Transitional Council.. and these are the first results..!” August 28, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/238290.
[v] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “The Presidential Protection Forces, led by ‘Ben Maili,’ leave Abyan governorate after an agreement with the STC,” August 28, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/238341.
[vi] Al Hizam Security Forces, “Abyan.. al Hizam Security Forces raid terrorist elements’ sites and find explosive belts and devices,” August 28, 2022, https://alhezam-media.com/site/2022/08/28/%d8%a3%d8%a8%d9%8a%d9%86-%d9%82%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ad%d8%b2%d8%a7%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%a3%d9%85%d9%86%d9%8a-%d8%aa%d8%af%d8%a7%d9%87%d9%85-%d9%85%d9%88%d8%a7%d9%82%d8%b9-%d9%84%d9%84/.
[vii] Radio al Furqaan, “Al Shabaab sent a message to the new Kenyan government,” August 28, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/08/al-shabaab-oo-farriin-dowladda-cusub-ee-kenya-u-dirtay-farriin/; Mohammed Dhaaysane, “Al-Shabab Militants Issue New Threats Against Kenya,” Voice of America, August 28, 2022, https://www.voanews.com/a/6719911.html?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4971229_.
[viii] Istar Abdi Yusuf, “Kenya put its troops on high alert after the threat of al Shabaab,” Caasimada, August, 29, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/kenya-oo-heegan-gelisay-ciidamadeeda-kadib-hanjabaaddii-al-shabaab/.
[ix] Radio al Furqaan, “Explosions caused damage to DF soldiers in Lower Shabelle and Bay,” August 28, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/08/qaraxyo-khasaare-lagu-gaarsiiyay-askarta-df-oo-ka-dhacay-sh-hoose-iyo-baay/.
[x] SONNA, “SNA units with ATMIS units carry out operations in parts of Janale region,” August 27, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/2022/08/27/sna-units-with-atmis-units-carry-out-operations-in-parts-of-janale-region/.