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 movement claims leader’s brother assassinated; AQAP claims IED attack against UAE-backed forces in Abyan governorate; al Houthi forces launch drones at two Saudi airports; STC-aligned forces and Hadi government-aligned forces continue fighting in Aden

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM commander visits Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement claimed that Ibrahim al Houthi, the brother of al Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi, had been assassinated in the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on August 9. The al Houthi movement blamed those “affiliated with the US-Israeli aggression and its tools” without providing further details.[1] 

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting UAE-backed al Hizam Security Forces in al Mahfad district in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on August 8. AQAP claimed to kill two al Hizam soldiers.[2]

Al Houthi forces claimed to conduct drone attacks against the Abha and Jizan airports in southern Saudi Arabia on August 8. The Saudi-led coalition stated that it had intercepted the drones.[3]

Forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, continued to clash with forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government in Aden, the de facto capital of Yemen, on August 9. Members of the Southern Giants Brigades reportedly left their positions on Yemen’s Red Sea coast and returned to Aden on August 8 in response to the clashes. The US Department of State called for an end to the violence on August 8.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Stephen Townsend, visited the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on August 7. General Townsend met with Somali Federal Government Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and senior Somali security officials to discuss the security situation in Somalia. General Townsend reiterated AFRICOM’s commitment to the region during the meeting. This is General Townsend’s first trip to Africa since he assumed command of AFRICOM in July 2019.[5]

Visit our YemenSomaliaSaudi Arabia storystreams.

[1] Al Masirah, Twitter, August 9, 2019,; “Yemen’s Houthis say leader’s brother was assassinated,” Reuters, August 9, 2019,; "Abdul-Malik al-Houthi's brother assassinated: Yemeni TV," Press TV, August 9, 2019,; and "Yemen’s Houthi militia says senior official from Houthi family killed," al Arabiya, August 9, 2019,

[2] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, August 8, 2019,

[3] “Yemen’s Houthis launch drone attacks on Saudi’s Abha airport: military spokesman,” Reuters, August 8, 2019,; "Forces of Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen intercept and shoot down drone launched by Houthi militia towards Abha," Saudi Press Agency, August 9, 2019,; “Coalition  intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia,” Al Arabiya, August 9, 2019,; “Two operations of the Yemeni Air Force towards Saudi Abha Airport,” Al Alam TV, August 9, 2019,; “Saudi-led coalition downs al Houthi drone targeting Jizan,” Sky News Arabic, August 8, 2019,; and “Saudi-led coalition exposes al Houthi drone targeting Abha,” Sky News Arabic, August 8, 2019,

[4] "Aden developments: Renewed confrontations near Kaltacs and the areas of Krater and Khormaksar," Yemen Akhbar, August 9, 2019,; "The return of Giants forces from the west coast to Aden," Aden Gad, August 8, 2019,; "Ali Nasser Muhammad: The fighting in Aden will unfortunately lead to the destruction and grave of the southern cause and end the dreams of southerners in security and peace and the establishment of the desired civil society," Aden Gad, August 8, 2019; and "Violence in Aden," U.S. Department of State, August 8, 2019,

[5] “New AFRICOM Commander Visits Somalia,” US Africa Command Public Affairs, August 7, 2019,

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