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 airstrikes target al Houthi infrastructure

Somalia: Security forces kill twelve al Shabaab operatives in Mogadishu; Somali electoral commission, US, and UK reject opposition group’s calls for election boycott; rival security forces mass in northern Somalia; soldiers kill two civilians in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition conducted two airstrikes near Sana’a city on December 2. The first airstrikes targeted al Houthi weapons depots and warehouses.[i]  The second airstrike targeted al Houthi weapons in transit from Sana’a International Airport.[ii]

Somalia Security Brief

The Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency killed twelve al Shabaab operatives in a counterterrorism operation in Mogadishu on December 1.[iii]

The Somali Federal Electoral Commission, the US, and the UK pushed back on calls by the Council of Presidential Candidates (CPC) to suspend elections in Somalia. The CPC is an opposition group of former Somali presidents and prime ministers. Chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission Mohamed Hassan Mohamed (Cirro) opposed calls by the CPC to boycott or cancel the election.[iv] The Federal Electoral Commission asked the CPC to provide evidence for their claims of election irregularities to the Commission.[v] The UK Ambassador to Somalia Kate Foster and the US Chargé d’Affaires Colleen Crenwelge urged election officials to continue elections while being more transparent.[vi]

Rival Puntland security forces mobilized in Bosaaso, Puntland State, northern Somalia.[vii] The two sides are made of soldiers loyal to Puntland President Said Deni and soldiers that rebelled after Deni fired General Mohamud Osman Diyano.[viii] Intermediaries are attempting to end the standoff, but both sides are opposed to talks.[ix]

Security forces killed two civilians on a motorcycle in the Waberi district of Mogadishu on December 2.[x] The Somali information minister said that the Justice Ministry instructed security services to investigate.[xi]

[i] Al Jazeera, “The coalition announces the implementation of precision strikes against legitimate targets in Yemen,” December 2, 2021,

[ii] Mareb Press, “The coalition announces the implementation of a qualitative strike in a sensitive location in the capital, Sana’a,” December 2, 2021,

[iii] Halbeeg, “Somali spy agency kills 12 al-Shabaab members,” December 2, 2021,

[iv] Mohamed Abukar, “Electoral Commission Opposes Candidates Union,” BadweynTimes, December 2, 2021,

[v] Hiraan Online, “Electoral Dispute Resolution Committee responds to allegations from candidates’ union,” December 2, 2021,

[vi] Goobjoog, “UK, US ambassadors in Somalia urge continuation of elections despite opposition calls for boycott,” December 2, 2021,

[vii] Saalax Saciid Sabriye, “Opposing forces move in and out of Bossaso,” Caasimada, December 3, 2021,

[viii] Shabelle Media, “Puntland president fires PSF director,” December 3, 2021,

[ix] Sabriye, “Opposing forces move in and out of Bossaso.”

[x] Asad Cabdullahi Mataan, “Government forces kill brother and sister in Mogadishu,” Caasimada, December 2, 2021,

[xi] Radio Dalsan, “Somalia: Government Condemns Assassination of Brother and Sister,” December 3, 2021,

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