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: Unknown militants attack Hadi government-aligned unit in Shabwah; Saudi led-coalition airstrike kills two al Houthi commanders

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks SNA base near Mogadishu; drone crashes in Hiraan region; SNA ambushes al Shabaab militants in Bakool region

Yemen Security Brief

Unknown militants attacked the Third Presidential Guard, a unit aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, in the southeastern governorate of Shabwah on December 12. The militants killed two soldiers and injured three others. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[1]

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike reportedly killed two al Houthi commanders, Jafar Abdullah Habra and Hassan Abdullah al Shahari, on December 12 in Sahar district in Sa’ada governorate in northern Yemen, according to anti-al Houthi media. The Saudi-led coalition has not confirmed the airstrike.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants raided a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Hilweyne town, located 15 miles north of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on December 11. Militants temporarily seized control of the base, killing one soldier and four civilians in the process.[3]

A drone of unknown origin crashed in Burweyne village in Hiraan region in central Somalia on December 12. US Africa Command (AFRICOM) frequently flies drones over Somalia but has not commented on the incident.[4]

SNA forces ambushed al Shabaab militants near Wajid town in Bakool region in southern Somalia on December 10. SNA troops killed one militant and detained another as the militants were traveling by motorcycle through the area.[5]

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[1] “2 Yemeni soldiers killed in Shabwa province,” Xinhua, December 12, 2019,

[2] “Yemen News Now – The Houthis admit the killing of two of their leaders in a raid in Saada,” 7adramout, December 12, 2019,; “The Houthis confess to the killing of two of their leaders in a raid in Saada,” Al Arabiya, December 12, 2019,

[3] “Al-Shabaab attacks Somali army base in Hilweyne, killing 5,” The Defense Post, December 12, 2019,

[4] Maruf, Harun, Twitter, December 12, 2019,; and “2019 Posture Statement to Congress,” AFRICOM, February 7, 2019,

[5] Maruf, Harun, Twitter, December 10, 2019,

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