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-led coalition targets al Houthi command and control nodes in Sana’a; al Houthi drones target Saudi Arabia

Somalia: Election officials suspend some results in South West State; al Shabaab attacks teashop in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab kills police officers in northeastern Kenya; Uganda places AMISOM troops on high alert for the Christmas period

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes targeting three al Houthi command and control nodes in Sana’a city on December 5.[i] The coalition claimed the al Houthis used the nodes to coordinate missile and drone strikes.[ii] Al Houthi media claimed the airstrikes targeted a food warehouse in a residential neighborhood.[iii]

The al Houthi movement launched seven explosive-laden drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia on December 5-6.[iv] The al Houthi movement launched five drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia on December 5. Saudi air defenses intercepted the drones. The al Houthi movement launched two drones targeting Saudi Arabia on December 6.[v] The Saudi-led coalition intercepted the drones over Yemen.

Somalia Security Brief

The Somali Federal Indirect Elections Team (FEIT) suspended the election results of two seats in South West State on December 5.[vi] South West State election officials barred former Lower House speaker Mohamed Jawari from running for one of the now-suspended seats on November 27.[vii] The FEIT said state election officials should re-run elections for the seats.[viii] Opposition groups accused President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo) and his allies of rigging elections in South West and Galmudug States in an announcement threatening to boycott several state elections on November 27.[ix]

Likely al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device in a teashop in Awdiinle, South West State, southwestern Somalia, on December 5.[x] The explosion killed five civilians and wounded seven others.

Al Shabaab militants ambushed a police vehicle near Mandera, northeastern Kenya, on December 5.[xi] The attack killed at least two police officers and wounded ten others. Kenyan security officials deployed hundreds of soldiers to assist in the search for the attackers on December 5.[xii]

Uganda ordered its African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) contingent to be on high alert during the upcoming Christmas period.[xiii] Military leaders believe al Shabaab will increase attacks on AMISOM targets during the holiday season.

[i] Al Sharq al Awsat, “Arab coalition destroys 2 drones over Yemen fired at Saudi Arabia,” December 6, 2021,

[ii] Mareb Press, “The coalition reveals the destruction of 3 operations centers for launching missiles and drones in Sana’a,” December 6, 2021,

[iii] Al Masirah TV, “Casualties of US-Saudi raid on al Anab neighborhood rise to 16, including serious injuries,” December 5, 2021,

[iv] Al Bawabah, “The coalition destroys two booby-trapped drones launched by the Houthis towards Saudi Arabia,” December 6, 2021,

[v] Al Sharq al Awsat, “Arab coalition destroys 2 drones over Yemen fired at Saudi Arabia,” December 6, 2021,

[vi] Hiiraan Online, “Elections committee suspends election of two more MPs, seeks more time on the fate of NISA acting boss,” December 6, 2021,

[vii] Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review: November 29, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, November 29, 2021,

[viii] Somali Dispatch, “Federal Electoral Commission split over the re-running election of seats in Baidoa,” December 5, 2021,

[ix] Carter and Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review: November 29, 2021.”

[x] Abdirasak Tuuryare, “Five dead as blast hits tea ship in Somalia,” Mareeg, December 5, 2021,

[xi] Istar Caabdi Yuusuf, “Al Shabaab attacks Kenyan officials,” Caasimada, December 5, 2021,

[xii] Mohamed Adan, “Kenya launches manhunt after Mandera attack,” Somali Dispatch, December 5, 2021,

[xiii] Halbeeg, “Uganda warns its troops in Somalia to be on high alert,” December 5, 2021,

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