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: ISIS Wilayat al Bayda claims attack on al Houthi-Saleh forces in western al Bayda governorate; Hadi government and popular resistance forces seize territory in Nihm district, northeastern Sana’a governorate; Saudi forces repel an al Houthi-Saleh attack in southern Najran region; Hadi government and popular resistance forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces through Taiz governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab kidnaps Ugandan soldier; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM checkpoint in Beledweyne, Hiraan region
Yemen Security Brief
- Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda claimed to attack al Houthi-Saleh forces in Qifa in western al Bayda governorate on December 21. Wilayat al Bayda disseminated pictures of its militants launching 120mm mortars at al Houthi-Saleh forces. It last claimed to attack al Houthi-Saleh forces in Qifa on December 20. AQAP also claimed to repel an al Houthi-Saleh attack in nearby al Jawf area in western al Bayda on December 21.
- Forces loyal to internationally recognized Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government claimed to seize Jebel al Asba’a and Jebel al Mariha from al Houthi-Saleh forces in Nihm district, roughly 100 km northeast of Sana’a city, on December 22. Saudi-led coalition warplanes provided air support for the attack. Al Houthi news outlets claimed al Houthi-Saleh forces repelled an attack on Nihm on December 22. Hadi government forces and al Houthi-Saleh forces frequently clash in Nihm district.
- Saudi forces repelled an al Houthi-Saleh attack along the Najran-Sa’ada border in the Saqam area in Najran region, Saudi Arabia, on December 22. Saudi-led coalition Apaches provided air support to ground forces following the attack. Hadi government forces also clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces near the Najran-Sa’ada border in al Buqa, Sa’ada governorate, Yemen.
- Hadi government and popular resistance forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz governorate. They claimed to repel an al Houthi-Saleh attack in al Dhabab in western Taiz city on December 22. Hadi government forces seized territory near al Misrakh village in southern Taiz governorate on December 22. Al Houthi-Saleh forces also attacked Hadi government forces on Jebel Jar, north of Taiz city, on December 22.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab claimed to capture a Ugandan soldier in an operation near Qoryooley, Lower Shebelle region on December 21. The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) confirmed the disappearance of the soldier, but maintained that he deserted his post.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a military checkpoint in Beledweyne, the capital city of Hiraan region, on December 22. A Djiboutian component of AMISOM forces operates a base in Beledweyne and is the frequent target of al Shabaab attacks. 
 ISIS Wilayat al Bayda claims attack on al Houthi-Saleh forces in Qifa, al Bayda, Dawaal Haq, December 21, 2016.
 “Government forces control the sites in Nihm east of Sanaa coalition waging intense strikes,” al Masdar, December 22, 2016, http://almasdaronline.com/article/87366; and “It killed 67 mercenary in operation of army and people's committees in Nihm,” al Masirah, December 22, 2016, http://www.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=1538&cat_id=3.
 “Saudi forces repel attack by Houthi forces and Saleh -dawn-the city of Najran,” Aden Tomorrow, http://adengad.net/news/236335/#.WFvq9VUrK00; and “Heavy weapons recovered by the army from the Houthi militia and ousted Saleh,” Aden Tomorrow, December 22, 2016, http://adengad.net/news/236355/#.WFvog1UrK00.
 "Houthi thwarted an infiltration attempt in the al Dhabab,” Aden Tomorrow, December 22, 2016, http://adengad.net/news/236272/#.WFvuR1UrK00; and “The death of a mercenary on Jar heights in Taiz,” al Masirah, December 22, 2016, http://www.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=1541&cat_id=3.
 “Shabaab Claims Taking Ugandan Soldier Prisoner, Assassinating Puntland Officials,” SITE, December 21, 2016, https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Statements/shabaab-claims-taking-ugandan-soldier-prisoner-assassinating-puntland-officials.html; and AMISOM, Twitter, December 21, 2016, https://twitter.com/amisomsomalia/status/811655444540203008?lang=en
 Al Qaeda media announces al Shabaab Attack on government militia in Beledweyne, Telegram, December 22, 2016