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: Suspected AQAP militants kill STC affiliates in Abyan governorate; Hadi government–aligned media publishes video of alleged al Houthi spies
Horn of Africa: US plans to withdraw troops from Somalia by early 2021; suspected IS-linked militants ambush Mozambican soldiers in Cabo Delgado province; Somali security forces allegedly recapture villages in Lower Jubba region from al Shabaab; Somali special forces capture al Shabaab commander near Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed six people affiliated with the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) in Lawdar in southern Yemen’s Abyan governorate on December 7. AQAP reportedly killed an STC affiliate in Abyan in early August.
Media aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi released a video of alleged spies for the al Houthi movement on December 7. The men in the video said they provided al Houthi militants with coordinates for missile attacks targeting Hadi government–aligned forces.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
The United States plans to withdraw approximately 700 troops from Somalia by January 15, 2021. The US Department of Defense stated on December 4 that some forces currently stationed in Somalia may be reassigned outside of East Africa and the remaining forces will be repositioned to Somalia’s neighboring countries. US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw US troops from Somalia in mid-October.
Suspected Islamic State–linked militants ambushed Mozambican soldiers in Muidumbe district in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province on December 4. The attacked killed at least 25 Mozambican soldiers and injured two dozen others. Mozambican troops reportedly recaptured Muidumbe village from Islamic State–linked militants in mid-November.
Somali Danab special forces and Jubbaland State security forces allegedly recaptured at least three villages from al Shabaab in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on December 4. Somali National Army forces claimed to kill al Shabaab leaders in Bar Sanguni town in Lower Jubba in mid-November.
Danab forces captured an al Shabaab commander near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on December 5. Somali security forces killed a suspected al Shabaab militant in Mogadishu in early December.
 “Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen kill five south Yemen separatist,” Middle East Eye, December 7, 2020, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-south-separatists-killed-suspected-al-qaeda; and Samuel Bloebaum and Matthew Eady, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 7, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 7, 2020,” https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-august-07-2020#_ftn1.
 “Treason network film reveals story of terrorist cell working for Iran-backed Houthi militia in Marib,” 26Sep News, December 7, 2020, http://en.26sepnews.net/2020/12/07/treason-networks-film-reveals-story-of-terrorist-cell-working-for-iran-backed-houthi-militia-in-marib/.
 “Somalia Force Posture Announcement,” US Department of Defense, December 4, 2020, https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2435972/somalia-force-posture-announcement/; “Situation Report EEPA HORN No. 18 – 07 December,” Martin Plaut, December 7, 2020, https://martinplaut.com/2020/12/07/situation-report-eepa-horn-no-18-07-december/; and Sarah Gordon and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 16, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-16-2020.
 “Jihadists Kill 25 Soldiers in Mozambique’s Restive North,” Barron’s, December 4, 2020, https://www.barrons.com/news/jihadists-kill-25-soldiers-in-mozambique-s-restive-north-01607091007?tesla=y; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 20, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-november-20-2020.
 “SNA Liberate New Areas in Joint Operation in Southern Somalia,” Radio Dalsan, December 5, 2020, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/12/05/sna-liberate-new-areas-in-joint-operation-in-southern-somalia/; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute,” https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-november-13-2020.
 “Danab Forces Nab Al-Shabab Commander in Lower Shabelle Region,” Radio Shabelle, December 5, 2020, https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/12/05/danab-forces-nab-al-shabab-commander-in-lower-shabelle-region/; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-december-2-2020.