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: Militants attacked army barracks in Lahij governorate; Sana’a court sentences nine AQAP militants; militants bomb oil pipeline in Hadramawt governorate; airstrike kills at least two suspected AQAP militants in Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: Djibouti pledges additional battalion to AMISOM; Somali troops secure three villages in Bay region; heavy fighting occurs in Daynile district in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attacked Somali bases in Yaqshid and Heliwa districts in Mogadishu; landmine injureds four policemen in north Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • Militants attacked army barracks in al Habilain Lahij governorate with automatic rifles and anti-tank weapons on December 30. At least five Yemeni soldiers and three gunmen were killed. Four soldiers have been reported missing. Yemeni officials have blamed the Southern Movement for the attack.[1]
  • A Sana’a court sentenced nine al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives to two to 10 years in prison for involvement in an assassination plot against President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The cell also planned to kill Yemeni military officers and to kidnap foreigners. Separately, Ahmad Kadiri Ahmad Turki was sentenced to death on December 29 for his role in a 2011 attack on Aden security headquarters.[2]
  • Militants bombed the oil pipeline linking Masila oilfield to Shihr in Hadramawt governorate on December 28. The explosive device detonated under the pipeline in Wadi Urf, causing oil production to stop.[3]
  • A suspected U.S. airstrike killed at least two alleged AQAP militants traveling in a pickup between Sayoun and Shibam in Hadramawt governorate on December 27.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh pledged an additional battalion of troops to AMISOM, to be deployed within the next three weeks. President Guelleh said AMISOM has planned an offensive against al Shabaab in Bulobarde in Hiraan region. The Somali military commander in Hiraan region, Colonel Mohamed Amin, also spoke of a future operation in Beledweyne in the region to be supported by Djiboutian troops.[5]
  • Somali government forces, backed by Ethiopian troops, seized three villages in Bay region, Iskoris, Moorowarabe, and Walaq near Berdale district, on December 29. Al Shabaab still controls Dinsor and Ufurow districts in Bay region. Separately, a military court sentenced two al Shabaab operatives to prison.[6]
  • Heavy fighting occurred in Ise Abdi village in Daynile district in Mogadishu the evening of December 29. Al Shabaab attacked Somali government troops on patrol in their area. Casualties have not been reported. Earlier in the day, Daynile district commissioner Hirey Muhidin confirmed that the police had detained two suspects involved in a bombing. A deputy district commissioner in Daynile, Muridi Hassan, was attacked with a grenade thrown at his house on December 29, but no injuries have been reported.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali military bases in the Jiro-Garoob and Suqa Holaha neighborhoods in Yaqshid and Heliwa districts in Mogadishu.[8]
  • A landmine injured four police officers in Dagahaley refugee camp in the Dadaab complex in northern Kenya on December 30. The police convoy was escorting humanitarian aid workers.[9]

[1] “Eight Killed in Attack on South Yemen Army Base,” BBC, December 30, 2013. Available:
“Secessionist Gunmen Attack Yemeni army Post, Killing 10 Soldiers,” Xinhua, December 30, 2013. Available:
[2] “Yemen Jails Nine al Qaeda Members for Plot to Kill President,” Reuters, December 29, 2013. Available:
“Terror Militant is Sentenced to Death,” Yemen Post, December 30, 2013. Available:
[3] Hakim Almasmari, “Militants Blow Up Major Oil Pipeline in Yemen,” CNN, December 28, 2013. Available:
[4] Saeed al Batati, “Yemen Drone Strike Kills Two al Qaida Suspects,” Gulf News, December 27, 2013. Available:
“Somali Military to Carry Out Security Operations in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, December 30, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Federal Govt Forces Capture New Areas in Bay Region, al Shabaab Members Sentenced to Prison,” Garowe Online, December 28, 2013. Available:
“Somali Forces Seize New Territories from al Shabaab in Bay Region,” Bar Kulan, December 29, 2013. Available:
[7] “Heavy Confrontation Erupts in Daynile District,” Shabelle News, December 30, 2013. Available:
“Somali Government Forces Arrests Youths on Daynil’s Attack,” Shabelle News, December 29, 2013. Available:
“Daynile Deputy Commissioner Was Attacked,” Shabelle News, December 30, 2013. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Al Shabaab Ambushes on Gov’t Bases in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, December 29, 2013. Available:
[9] “Four Police Officers Injured in Landmine Explosion,” Shabelle News, December 30, 2013. Available:
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