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 announces withdrawal of troops from Aden; UAE confirms airstrikes in Aden; al Houthi movement claims drone attack on airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia; al Houthi representative claims to meet UK Ambassador to Yemen in Muscat

Horn of Africa: SNA forces kill al Shabaab commander in Lower Shabelle region; SFG agrees to limited Ethiopian AMISOM deployment in Dhusamareb

Yemen Security Brief

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced on August 29 that Hadi government-aligned forces had withdrawn from Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, a day after the forces entered the city. The Hadi government had claimed on August 28 to have liberated the city from forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a UAE-backed southern Yemeni secessionist group. The Hadi government has fought STC-aligned forces in multiple governorates in southern Yemen since the STC seized Aden in early August.[1]

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed that UAE coalition forces had conducted air strikes in Aden on August 29. The Hadi government had accused the UAE of conducting airstrikes against Hadi-aligned government forces earlier in the day. The UAE claimed that its strikes targeted “armed groups affiliated with terrorist organizations” who were attacking Aden International Airport.[2]

The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct a drone attack on Najran regional airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia on August 29. The Saudi-led coalition did not comment on the claim.[3]

Al Houthi official Mohammed Abdul Salam met with the UK Ambassador to Yemen, Michael Aron, in Muscat, Oman on August 30, according to al Houthi media. Abdul Salam claimed that the UK ambassador reiterated British support for a political settlement to the war in Yemen. The UK has not confirmed the meeting.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali National Army (SNA) forces claimed to kill an al Shabaab commander in an operation in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on August 29.[5]

The Somali Federal Government (SFG) agreed on August 30 to allow Ethiopia to deploy a limited number of units to Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State in north-central Somalia, under the auspices of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping mission. Ethiopian General Tigabu Yilma met with SFG and Galmudug officials in Dhusamareb on August 30 to discuss the deployment. The SFG Security Minister stated that AMISOM troops would bolster security in the town ahead of upcoming regional elections. [6]

Visit our Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Somalia story streams. 

[1] “Yemeni president says govt forces withdraw from Aden –SABA,” Reuters, August 29, 2019,; and and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 29, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 29, 2019,

[2] “UAE issues statement on developments in Yemen,” Emirates News Agency, August 30, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 29, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 29, 2019,

[3] “Air Forces Target Najran Airport, Disrupting Air Traffic,” al Masirah, 29, 2019,

[4] “Abdulsalam Meets with British Ambassador to Yemen,” al Masirah, August 30, 2019,

[5] Mayer M Tuuryare, “African Union troops into Somalia to Dispatch Dhusamareb,”Mareeg Media, August 30, 2019,

[6] “Al-Shabaab figure killed in Lower Shabelle, says military official,” Radio Shabelle, August 29, 2019,

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