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: al Houthi-Saleh Supreme Political Council chairman indicates willingness to negotiate; al Houthi-Saleh forces launch ballistic missile targeting Saudi military forces in Asir province, southern Saudi Arabia; reported U.S. airstrike targets AQAP militants near Ataq in Shabwah governorate; Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghir announces Central Bank relocation from Sana’a to Aden
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SYL Hotel near presidential palace in Mogadishu; senior al Shabaab commander defects in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attack SNA positions near Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan anti-terror police arrest two suspected ISIS recruits
Yemen Security Brief
- The chairman of the al Houthi-Saleh Supreme Political Council, Saleh al Samad, announced that the Council will participate in peace negotiations but will reserve the right to resist attacks by the Saudi-led coalition and forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government. The formation of the Supreme Political Council, a 10-member governing body formed by a power-sharing agreement between the al Houthi Ansar Allah party and the General People’s Congress (GPC) party, derailed UN-led peace talks in Kuwait in early August. Al Samad rejected Saudi accusations that al Houthi-Saleh forces used the Yemeni Central Bank in Sana’a for their own political and economic interests.
- Al Houthi-Saleh forces launched a Qaher-1 ballistic missile from Shaffar city in Hajjah governorate, northern Yemen that targeted Abha airport in Asir province, southern Saudi Arabia on August 30, according to a pro-al Houthi source. Saudi air defenses intercepted the missile in Asir province. 
- A reported U.S. airstrike struck a vehicle carrying suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants near Ataq city in Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen on August 30. The attack killed one suspected militant and injured two others.
- Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghir announced that the Central Bank in Sana’a will officially relocate from Sana’a to Aden. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged $15 billion to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government for post-conflict reconstruction and recovery.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) outside a hotel adjacent to the Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu on August 30. The attack on the Somali Youth League (SYL) Hotel killed at least twelve individuals and wounded many others, including Somali cabinet members. Gunmen may have stormed the hotel following the blast. Al Shabaab launched a complex attack targeting the SYL Hotel that killed 11 individuals in February 2016.
- Senior al Shabaab commander Ibrahim Adan Ibrahim surrendered himself to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu on August 29. Ibrahim played a prominent role in al Shabaab’s department for education. The SFG’s amnesty policy for defective fighters has been credited in leading to a number of high level defections.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked two Somali National Army (SNA) outposts near Afgoi in Lower Shabelle region on August 29. The militants obtained weapons and supplies and killed six SNA soldiers in the attack.
- Kenyan anti-terror police arrested two medical students attempting to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Malindi, Kilifi County, Kenya on August 28. The two men allegedly intended to travel to the semi-autonomous Puntland region of northern Somalia, where a pro-ISIS religious leader Abdul Qadir Mumin reportedly operates an approximately 15-member cell.