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: Armed factions clash in southern Yemen; Shabwah governor dismisses military commander, Yemeni interior minister nullifies the dismissal; Houthis reinforce their positions in southwestern Yemen

Somalia: ENDF deploys forces in southern Somalia; ETAF launches airstrikes targeting al Shabaab in central Somalia; al Shabaab raids villages in central Somalia; al Shabaab VBIED targets Hirshabelle State officials in south-central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Giants Brigades forces and the Shabwah Defense Forces clashed with troops of the Special Security Forces (SSF) and two Yemeni Army brigades in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on August 7.[i] The number of casualties remains unclear, though reports suggest “dozens” were killed and wounded in the clashes.

Shabwah governor Awad al Awlaki’s attempted to dismiss the Shabwah SSF commander on August 6.[ii] Yemen’s interior minister Ibrahim Haidan nullified al Awlaki’s decision the following day.[iii]

Military sources reported on August 8 that the Houthis moved military reinforcements to positions near al Taiziah and al Khamseen near Taiz city, southern Yemen.[iv]

Somalia Security Brief:

The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) deployed forces to counter al Shabaab militants in Dolow and Beled Hawo, Dolow district, Gedo region, southern Somalia, on August 6.[v] ENDF forces crossed the Ethiopia-Somalia border in Dolow and established bases in Dolow airport and Beled Hawo town.

The Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) conducted airstrikes targeting al Shabaab in Beledweyne district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on August 7.[vi] The ETAF targeted al Shabaab militants in Coomaad, Bacda, and Qabdho villages.

Al Shabaab militants reportedly raided villages in Beledweyne and Bulo Burto districts, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on August 8.[vii] Al Shabaab militants set nine villages on fire, destroying over 300 houses, and destroyed water wells in Raqso and Teedan, Beledweyne district and Bukure, Bulo Burto district. Somali security forces and ETAF aircraft are operating in these drought-hit areas against al Shabaab targets. Al Shabaab militants targeted solely Hawadale’s clan villages.

Al Shabaab detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) targeting Hirshabelle State officials near the Hirshabelle State Presidential Palace, Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on August 7.[viii] The VBIED wounded six civilians but failed to kill officials. This is the second attack targeting officials since July 17. Al Shabaab detonated a suicide VBIED targeting Hirshabelle State officials in Jowhar on July 17.[ix]

[i] Akhbar Yemen, “Shabwah… Many dead and wounded in clashes between forces of the Giants and Special Forces in Ataq,” August 8, 2022,; Yemen Future, “Yemen: Clashes between conflicting factions within the government coalition in Shabwah,” August 8, 2022,; Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “Clashes continue in Ataq, the general hospital receives dozens of dead and wounded, and the fate of Lakab is mysterious,” August 8, 2022,; Mahra Post, “The UAE explodes the situation in Shabwah and the killing of a prominent officer in the government forces,” August 8, 2022,

[ii] Mahra Post, “The governor of Shabwah dismisses the commander of the Special Forces, ‘Abed Rabbo Lakab’ without announcing the results of the events of last July,” August 6, 2022,

[iii] Mahra Post, “The Minister of Interior cancels the decision of the Governor of Shabwah to dismiss the commander of the Special Security Forces, Brigadier General Abed Rabbo Lakab,” August 7, 2022,

[iv] Khabar Agency, “Al Houthi militia mobilizes its members to camps and reception centers in Taiz despite the armistice,” August 8, 2022,

[v] Caasimada, “Jubbaland has given new information about the Ethiopian army that entered Gedo,” August 6, 2022,

[vi] Horseed Media, “Ethiopia has bombed parts of Hiraan region,” August 7, 2022,

[vii] SONNA, “Al Shabaab terrorists set fire wells in drought-hit villages,” August 8, 2022,

[viii] Keydmedia, “Two children among six people wounded in blast in Jowhar,” August 7, 2022,

[ix] SONNA, “At least three people were killed and seven others wounded in the terrorist attack in Jowhar,” July 17, 2022,

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