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: AQAP claims three attacks on Emirati-backed forces in southern Yemen; al Houthi movement claims three drone attacks in southwestern Saudi Arabia; suspected Emirati-backed forces detain northern Yemenis in Aden

Horn of Africa: Military court executes two al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting AMISOM and SNA convoy in Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants surrender to SNA in Bay region; militants detonate IED targeting former Puntland minister in Boosaaso; Sudanese military and civilian leaders agree on constitutional framework in Khartoum

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed three attacks against Emirati-backed Yemeni security forces in Abyan and al Bayda governorates in southern Yemen between August 4 and August 5. AQAP claimed to kill multiple fighters, disable vehicles, and steal weapons in each of the attacks. The attacks follow an AQAP raid on an al Hizam Security Forces base in al Mahfad district in Abyan on August 2. That attack killed at least 19 members of the Emirati-backed security force.[1]

The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct three drone attacks against airports and airfields in southwestern Saudi Arabia on August 5. The al Houthi movement claimed to attack the Abha and Najran regional airports as well as the King Khaled Air Base near Khamis Mushayt city. Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Turki al Maliki claimed that the coalition had intercepted the drones.[2]

Suspected Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces detained and deported northern Yemenis in Aden city in southern Yemen between August 3 and August 4. Gunmen raided the homes and shops of northern Yemenis in the Sheikh Uthman and Mansoura districts of the city. Al Hizam forces denied that they were responsible for the raids. The raids followed an August 1 al Houthi drone and missile attack against an al Hizam camp in Aden that killed over 30 members of the force.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

A Somali military court executed two al Shabaab militants in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on August 5. The court found the militants responsible for planning and executing multiple attacks in Mogadishu, including an attack on the Sahafi hotel in November 2018 that killed dozens of people.[4]

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) convoy travelling from Jowhar town to Balad town in southern Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on August 3. Al Shabaab militants ambushed the convoy after detonating the IED, injuring three SNA soldiers.[5]

Two al Shabaab militants surrendered to the SNA in Dinsor town in southern Somalia’s Bay region on August 4.[6]

Unidentified militants detonated an IED targeting the former Puntland state Minister of Planning in Boosaaso, a port city in northern Somalia and Puntland’s commercial capital, on August 4. The attack caused no casualties.[7]

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and civilian opposition leaders agreed to a constitutional framework for a transitional government in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on August 4. The details of the agreement have not been released. The agreement follows months of negotiations and intermittent violence between protesters and security forces in Khartoum. Civilian protesters have demanded civilian rule ever since the TMC overthrew Sudan’s long-time dictator, Omar al Bashir, in April 2019.[8]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan story streams.

[1] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 4, 2019,; Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 4, 2019,; Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 5, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” Critical Threats Project, August 2, 2019,

[2] Saudi Press Agency, Twitter, August 5, 2019,; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 5, 2019,; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 5, 2019,; Al Masirah, Twitter, August 5, 2019,; “Downed al Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia,” Sky News Arabic, August 5, 2019,; and “The air force targets airplanes and military sites in Abha, Najran and King Khalid airports,” 26 September, August 5, 2019,

[3] "UAE-backed forces detain and deport Yemenis from Aden," Al Jazeera, August 4, 2019,; "Gulf of Aden Security Review," Critical Threats Project, August 1, 2019,; and “Al Hizam forces denies its connection with the deportation of northern workers from Aden and calls for the report on those who carried it out,” Aden Gad, August 4, 2019,

[4] “Mogadishu military court executes two al Shabaab members,” Goobjoog, August 5, 2019,; and “Somalia executes two al Shabaab members,” Mustaqbal Radio, August 5, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, August 3, 2019,

[6] “Al Shabaab militants surrender to government forces,” Radio Shabelle, August 5, 2019,

[7] “Somalia: Former planning minister escapes bomb attack in Puntland,” Garowe, August 5, 2019,

[8] “Sudan Constitutional Declaration signed Sovereign council to be announced in two weeks,” Dabanga Sudan, August 4, 2019,; Nada Rashwan, “Sudan Factions Sign Agreement Paving Way for Civilian Rule,” The New York Times, August 4, 2019,; and “Sudan military and opposition reach constitution deal,” Daily Nation, August 4, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Sep '19
Aug '19
Jul '19