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-led coalition airstrike on a market kills children in Sa’ada governorate; U.S. defense officials discuss resuming military and counterterrorism training with Hadi government vice president; UN aid agencies resume shipments to Aden after temporary halt in sea operations

Horn of Africa: SNA and AMISOM conduct operation against al Shabaab near Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region; Sudan and Egypt agree to increase security cooperation; former president of Ethiopia’s Somali regional state arrested

Yemen Security Brief

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a bus in a market in Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen. The majority of the people killed were children less than ten years old, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The airstrike killed 43 people and wounded 61 others, according to the al Houthi Ministry of Health. Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al Maliki stated the airstrike was a “legitimate military accordance with international humanitarian law” and targeted al Houthi forces responsible for launching a ballistic missile into Jizan city, southern Saudi Arabia. Al Houthi forces fired a Badr 1 ballistic missile at Jizan city on August 8.The Saudi-led coalition intercepted the missile but debris killed a Yemeni national and wounded 11 other civilians.[1]

U.S. defense officials met with Hadi government Vice President Ali Mohsen al Ahmar on August 9 to discuss resuming American support to build Yemeni military and counterterrorism capabilities. Al Ahmar met with the outgoing and incoming U.S. defense attaché to Yemen and U.S. Special Forces commanders, according to the Hadi government state-run news agency. Al Ahmar met with the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller and the outgoing and incoming U.S. defense attache on August 7.[2]

UN agencies announced they will resume aid shipments by sea to Aden port, southern Yemen on August 12. The UN’s Logistics Clusters, responsible for coordinating the logistics of humanitarian efforts, temporarily halted all aid shipments by sea to Yemen due to “unforeseen circumstances” on July 26. Logistics Clusters announced on August 9 that it will resume voyages between Djibouti and Aden on August 12. The Logistics Clusters announcement did not comment on shipments to al Hudaydah.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces launched operations against al Shabaab near Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle on August 9. SNA and AMISOM forces reportedly clashed with Shabaab militants in Awqooy village 30km from Afgoi. No casualties have been reported.[4]

The Egyptian and Sudanese militaries agreed to strengthen security cooperation during the fifth-round of Sudan-Egypt military talks in Khartoum on August 7. The two militaries will increase cooperation in the Red Sea, along their shared borders, and in the realm of counterterrorism. The chief of staff of the Egyptian armed forces, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Farid Hegazy, stated that the two countries had agreed to increase security cooperation following the recent reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea. [5]

Ethiopian authorities arrested the former president of Ethiopia’s Somali regional state, Mohamed Omar “Abdi Iley,” and flew him to a prison in Addis Ababa on August 7. The arrest came 24 hours after Iley resigned from his post in the midst of clashes between ethnic Oromo and Somalis in the regional capital of Jijiga. Ethiopian troops deployed to Jijiga on August 4 to quell the unrest where they clashed with Iley’s regional security forces. The new Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently accused Iley’s regional government of significant human rights abuses.[6]


[1] ICRC Yemen, Twitter, August 9, 2018,; “Dozens killed, including children on a bus, in Yemen air strikes,” Reuters, August 9, 2018,; “The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition “Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen”: Targeting the terrorist Houthi Militants Responsible for Launching the Ballistic Missile Yesterday on Jizan,” SPA, August 9, 2018,; “The Joint Forces Command of the ‏Coalition (Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen): Royal Saudi Air Defense Intercepts and Destroys A Ballistic Missile Launched by the terrorist Iranian Houthi Militia at Saudi Arabia. Yemeni resident Martyrdom as a result of fragments,” SPA, August 9, 2018,; and “The rocket force fires a ballistic missile at the industrial city of Jizan,” Saba News, August 8, 2018,

[2] “Vice President discusses mechanisms of US cooperation in the field of capacity building and combating terrorism,” Saba New, August 9, 2018,

[3] Logistics Clusters, Twitter, August 9, 2018,; and “Yemen Logistics Clusters,” Logistics Clusters, August 9, 2018,

[4]“SNA conduct military operations in Lower Shabelle Somalia,” Goobjoog, August 9, 2018,

[5] “Egypt, Sudan agree to step up security cooperation,” Anadolu Agency, August 7, 2018,; and “Sudan, Egypt begin high level military talks,” Middle East Monitor, August 7, 2018,

[6] “Ex-president of Ethiopia’s Somali region arrested, flown to Addis Ababa,” Africa News, August 7, 2018,; and “Ethiopian army takes over Somali region security,” The East African, August 7, 2018,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Sep '18
Aug '18
Jul '18