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: 33rd Armored Brigade shells villages near al Dhaleh city; security forces arrest 152 wanted individuals in November; director of central prison of Ibb governorate resigns; Yemeni Rescue Police clash with armed tribesmen in Hadramawt governorate; security forces wound two civilians in Aden governorate; Central Security Forces units track unidentified gunmen in Taiz governorate; saboteurs cut optical fiber cable between Abyan and Aden governorates; Yemeni Parliament sets a deadline for governors to solve tribal road blockades

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab ambushes SNA bases in Qalimow, Middle Shabelle region; AMISOM launches rockets at al Shabaab base in Dhanaane, Lower Shabelle region; Somali troops capture vehicle carrying explosives in Kismayo; Somali security officials meet in Marka, Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Local citizens from al Dhaleh city reported on December 4 that Yemeni military forces carried out an extensive bombing campaign on a number of villages near the city center. Local sources reported that the clashes were sparked after armed gunmen blocked a military truck on a highway. The bombings reportedly occurred in the southeastern region of the city center. At least two civilians were killed and a number of children sustained injuries. Local sources speculated that the 33rd Armored Brigade, which was recently moved from Taiz governorate to Dhaleh governorate, carried out the bombing campaign as a show of force.[1]
  • Security forces reportedly arrested 152 wanted individuals in different governorates during the month of November. Local sources reported that 11 of the 152 arrested individuals are suspected of being involved with al Qaeda.[2]
  • Local sources reported on December 4 that Ali al Ghani, director of the central prison in Ibb governorate, has resigned from his post following recent events at the prison. Five prisoners recently protested by carrying out acts of self-mutilation, four of which cut off their own ears, and one prisoner amputated their finger.[3]
  • Yemeni Rescue Police clashed with al Taleb tribesmen at a military checkpoint in Hadramawt governorate on December 3. Local sources reported that the clashes were sparked after tribesmen kidnapped a member of the Yemeni Rescue Police.[4]
  • Yemeni security forces wounded two civilians in Mansoura city of Aden governorate on December 4. Local sources reported that security forces fired on the civilians following a verbal altercation. One of the wounded individuals is in critical condition.[5]
  • Local sources reported on December 3 that two Central Security Forces (CSF) units are pursuing unidentified gunmen near Taiz governorate. Local sources added that CSF units were able to capture one of the gunmen. Security forces are currently carrying out a campaign to remove weapons and lawlessness from Taiz governorate.[6]
  • A group of saboteurs cut an optical fiber cable between Abyan and Aden governorate on December 3, leading to an outage of telecommunication services. The outage stopped communications between Abyan and Aden governorates, and between Zinjibar and Jaar cities.[7]
  • The Yemeni House of Representatives gave governors of Dhamar, Ibb, and Raymah governorates on December 4 four days to solve issues related to tribal roadblocks.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab ambushed Somali National Army (SNA) bases in Qalimow, Middle Shabelle region on December 4. The SNA troops were able to defend their position but four soldiers died in the fight. Somali officials claim their men killed at least 13 al Shabaab militants.[9] 
  • AMISOM troops launched a rocket attack on a suspected al Shabaab base in Dhanaane, Lower Shabelle region on December 4. AMISOM fired 16 rockets at the position, forcing residents in the area to flee. Local sources have not yet reported on casualties.[10]
  • Somali troops captured a car carrying explosives in Kismayo on December 4. The car is thought to be part of a suicide attack aimed at Somali and AMISOM troops stationed in Kismayo. The car was brought to a safe location outside the city while Somali soldiers continue to investigate the vehicle.[11]
  • Leaders from the Somali Defense Ministry and local security officials met in Marka, Lower Shabelle on December 3 to discuss security concerns for the region. During the meeting officials talked about how to better strengthen police and security forces in the Lower Shabelle region.[12]

[1] “Local Residents: Military Force Bombs a Number of Villages in al Dhaleh with Medium Weapons and Kills Individuals,” Aden al Ghad, December 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Security Forces Arrest 152 Wanted Individuals Last November, 11 of Which Are from al Qaeda,” 26 September, December 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Director of Central Prison in Ibb Governorate Resigns,” 26 September, December 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Hadramawt: Exchange of Gunfire between Security Forces and Armed Tribesmen and They Kidnapped a Police Officer in Sayyun,” Ma’rib Press, December 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Breaking: Two Wounded by Gunshots from Security Forces in Aden,” Barakish, December 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Security Forces Are Hunting Gunmen in Downtown Taiz,” Ma’rib Press, December 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Sabotage Act Targets Optical Fiber Cable between Aden and Abyan,” 26 September, December 3, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Parliament Sets a Deadline for Governors of Ibb, Dhamar, and Raymah of Four Days to Solve Interruption Problems,” Barakish, December 4, 2012 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Heavy Fighting Erupts in a Town Outside Mogadishu, Somali Capital,” Shabelle, December 4, 2012. Available:
[10] “AMISOM Troops Bombard Somali Town,” Shabelle, December 4, 2012. Available:
[11] “Car with Explosives Captured in Kismayo,” Radio Mustaqbal, December 4, 2012. Available:
[12] “Leaders Discuss Security Situation in Lower Shabelle,” Bar Kulan, December 3, 2012. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '13
Dec '12
Nov '12