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: Pro-Hadi forces capture al Houthi-Saleh FOB in Furdat Nihm, northeast of Sana’a; WHO delivers medical aid to Taiz city; suspected AQAP militants kill three soldiers in Aden

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab fighters fire mortars at Mogadishu AMISOM base and Aden Adde International Airport;  AMISOM and SNA forces arrest 20 suspected al Shabaab members in Bay region, Somalia; AMISOM and SNA forces retake Biya Adde  town in Middle Shabelle, Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Popular resistance forces and Yemeni army units loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi captured an al Houthi-Saleh forward operating base (FOB) in Furdat Nihm, northeast of the capital Sana’a, on February 11. The capture follows more than a week of intense fighting in the area and claims of victories on both sides. Clashes are ongoing in the immediate vicinity of the base, according to reports from pro-Hadi forces.  The FOB at Furdat Nihm lies along the main road connecting Sana’a with Yemen’s northern and eastern governorates and has served as a launching point for al Houthi-Saleh operations in Ma’rib and al Jawf.[1]
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) delivered more than 20 tons of medical supplies to the city of Taiz in southwestern Yemen. The supplies arrived at four major hospitals on January 31, according to WHO officials, after al Houthi-Saleh forces blocked the shipment for eight weeks. Al Houthi-Saleh forces control the primary routes in and out of Taiz and have blocked the delivery of humanitarian aid for three months, according to a February 9 report by Amnesty International.[2] 
  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed three soldiers in Aden’s Inma city near al Mansoura district on February 11. The attack follows nearly two days of clashes between suspected AQAP militants and coalition-backed forces in Aden’s al Mansoura and Khormaksar districts. President Hadi’s government is struggling to secure Aden, where AQAP, an Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) affiliate, and southern secessionist militias are active.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Suspected al Shabaab militants fired mortars at Aden Adde International Airport and the adjacent African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base on February 10 and February 11. The incident caused no casualties but forced the airport to cancel several flights.  Local reports indicate that the Halane AMISOM base, which is attached to the airport and houses several embassies and UN offices, was the primary target. Al Shabaab has not claimed credit for the attack.[4] 
  • AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) troops arrested at least 20 suspected al Shabaab members during a security operation in several villages of Somalia’s Bay region on February 11.  The operation is part of a larger initiative to drive al Shabaab from the South West State, which comprises the Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shabelle regions.[5] 
  • A Burundian AMISOM contingent working with SNA troops recaptured the village of Biya Adde near Mahaday town in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region from al Shabaab on February 11.  The al Shabaab militants withdrew from the town before the AMISOM and SNA troops arrived, though they attacked the returning troops from nearby positions.[6] 
[1] “Pro-government forces seize camp outside Yemen capital,” Reuters, February 11, 2016,
“Video: National army forces capture Furdat Nihm base,” Barakish, February 11, 2016,
[2] “WHO delivers medical aid to Yemen's Taiz,” Middle East Eye, February 10, 2016,
“Yemen: Huthis blocking of medical and food supplies for city of Ta'iz condemned,” Amnesty International UK, February 9, 2016,
[3] “Masked gunmen kill 3 Yemeni soldiers in Aden,” Al Arabiya, February 11, 2016,
[4] “Mortar attack targets Somali Mogadishu airport,” AFP, February 11, 2016,
[5] “Security operation in Bay region nets suspects,” Goobjoog News, February 11, 2016,
[6] “Somali, AU troops push Al Shabaab out of town,” Shabelle News, February 11, 2016,  
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