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: Pro–al Qaeda media states AQAP regrouped in al Bayda governorate following al Houthi offensive; unidentified explosives-laden boat targets oil tanker off Saudi port city on Red Sea; Saudi-led coalition asserts Hadi government’s and STC’s commitment to Riyadh Agreement
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab reportedly seizes village in Garissa County and attacks US-Kenyan military base in Lamu County; Danab special forces claim to destroy al Shabaab base in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab bombs SNA vehicle in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attempt to assassinate local official in Mudug region; Puntland State Coast Guard targets al Shabaab militants in Puntland State
Yemen Security Brief:
Pro–al Qaeda media circulated an article on December 11 stating that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continues to target the al Houthi movement in central Yemen’s al Bayda governorate. The pro–al Qaeda outlet claimed AQAP militants regrouped in al Bayda’s Qayfa area shortly after the al Houthi movement claimed defeating AQAP and Islamic State in Yemen militants in Qayfa area in August.
An unidentified explosives-laden boat targeted an oil tanker off Saudi Arabia’s port city Jeddah on the Red Sea on December 14. The Saudi-led coalition claimed destroying two al Houthi remote-controlled improvised explosive device boats launched from western Yemen’s al Hudaydah governorate in mid-November.
The Saudi-led coalition asserted on December 14 the internationally recognized Yemeni government’s commitment to implement the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement with the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC). The coalition spokesman said both sides would withdraw troops from Yemen’s de facto capital of Aden and would separate military forces in Abyan governorate in the country’s south. The internationally recognized Yemeni government and STC agreed to form a joint government as part of the Riyadh Agreement on December 10.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab militants reportedly seized Sedah Goos village in northeastern Kenya’s Garissa County on December 12 without armed confrontation from Kenyan security forces. At least forty al Shabaab militants attacked a joint US-Kenyan Defense Forces military base in southeastern Kenya’s Lamu County the same day. An al Shabaab leader in Somalia announced plans to coordinate attacks on Kenyan nationals earlier that day.
Somalia’s Danab Special Forces claimed to destroy an al Shabaab base in Sablale district in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on December 13. The attack reportedly killed seventeen al Shabaab militants including three al Shabaab officials. The Somali National Army (SNA) allegedly killed eight al Shabaab militants in Wajid town in southern Somalia’s Bakool region the same day.
Al Shabaab militants reportedly bombed an SNA vehicle near K-4 junction in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on December 12. Al Shabaab militants attacked an SNA station in Mogadishu on December 8.
Al Shabaab militants attempted to assassinate Galkayo district’s commissioner with a roadside landmine in Galkayo district in central Somalia’s Mudug region on December 13. The attack injured several civilians. Al Shabaab detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Galkayo in mid-May, killing Mudug’s regional governor.
Puntland State Coast Guard forces reportedly targeted al Shabaab militants in al Madow mountains in northeastern Somalia’s Puntland State on December 12. Al Shabaab militants allegedly smuggled light arms from Yemen to al Madow on December 9.
 “AQAP reportedly active in central Yemen despite defeat claim,” BBC, December 14, 2020, available by subscription at https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File: Al Houthi offensive escalates violence in central Yemen,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 14, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/yemen-file-al-houthi-offensive-escalates-violence-in-central-yemen.
 Jon Gambrell, “ ‘External source’ causes oil tanker blast off Saudi Arabia,” Associated Press, December 14, 2020, https://apnews.com/article/dubai-saudi-arabia-united-arab-emirates-jiddah-yemen-5493fe28dab563c4a457a325b20e3c62; “The return of targeting tankers…the most prominent attacks in the Red Sea, the Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and Oman,” Al Jazeera, December 14, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2020/12/14/%d8%b9%d9%88%d8%af%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d8%b3%d8%aa%d9%87%d8%af%d8%a7%d9%81-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%86%d8%a7%d9%82%d9%84%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a3%d8%a8%d8%b1%d8%b2-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%87%d8%ac%d9%85%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d9%81%d9%8a; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, November 13, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-november-13-2020.
 “The coalition confirms the seriousness of the two parties to the Yemeni Riyadh Agreement,” Al Asharq al Awsat, December 14, 2020, https://aawsat.com/home/article/2681056/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81-%D9%8A%D8%A4%D9%83%D8%AF-%D8%AC%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B7%D8%B1%D9%81%D9%8A-%C2%AB%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B6%C2%BB-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A; and Jessica Kocan and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 11, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 11, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-december-11-2020.
 “Al Shabab reportedly Captures Villages in north-eastern Kenya,” BBC Monitoring, December 14, 2020, available by subscription at https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/; Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 4, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 4, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-december-4-2020; “Panic at Kenya-Somali Border as Shabaab Militants Sighted,” Hiiraan, December 14, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Dec/181032/panic_at_kenya_somalia_border_as_shabaab_militants_sighted.aspx; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 23, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 23, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-23-2020.
 “Senior Al-Shabaab Foreign Fighters Killed in Lower Shabelle,” Radio Dalsan, December 13, 2020, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/12/13/senior-al-shabaab-foreign-fighters-killed-in-lower-shabelle/; “Eight Al-Shabab Insurgents Killed by Somalia Military Forces,” Middle East North Africa Financial Network, December 14, 2020, https://menafn.com/1101278301/Eight-Al-shabab-insurgents-killed-by-Somalia-military-forces&source=22.
 “Somali Military Convoy Hit by Roadside Bomb in Mogadishu,” Radio Shabelle, December 12, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/somali-military-convoy-hit-by-roadside-bomb-in-mogadishu/; and Jessica Kocan and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 11, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 11, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-december-11-2020.
 “IED Explodes at Galkaayo District Headquarters, Casualties Reported,” Hiiraan, December 13, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Dec/181025/ed_explodes_at_galkaayo_district_headquarters_casualties_reported.aspx; and Kalissa Azooz and Muhammad Ramadhito, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 20, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 20, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-20-2020.
 “PMPF Forces Conduct Security Operations in Calmadow Mountains,” Horseedmedia, December 12, 2020, https://horseedmedia.net/2020/12/12/ciidamada-pmpf-ee-puntland-oo-hawlgal-ka-sameeyey-buuraleyda-calmadow/; and Jessica Kocan and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 11, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 11, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-december-11-2020.