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: Houthi drone targets Saudi Arabia; US will replenish UAE missile interceptors; pro-STC politicians increase pressure on Islah in eastern Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab suicide bomber targets election delegates in Mogadishu; al Shabaab IED kills five in southeastern Kenya; al Shabaab publicly executes SNA soldier in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

The Houthi movement fired at least one drone targeting Abha International Airport, Asir province, southern Saudi Arabia, on February 10.[i] Saudi air defenses intercepted the drone, but shrapnel injured twelve civilians, including two Saudi nationals.

The United States will replenish the UAE’s THAAD and Patriot missile interceptors.[ii] The UAE uses the THAAD and Patriot air defense systems to intercept Houthi drone and missile attacks. The US CENTCOM commander announced US assistance in replenishing Emirati interceptor stockpiles after his visit to Abu Dhabi on February 6.

A pro-Southern Transitional Council Hadrami politician called for demonstrations against the Islah party in Seiyun, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen, on February 11.[iii] The politician called for the replacement of Islah-backed forces with the Hadramawt Elite Forces. The politician accused Islah of terrorism, corruption, and “tampering.”

Somalia Security Brief

An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vest targeting Somaliland election delegates near El Gaab intersection, Hamar Weyne district, Mogadishu, on February 10.[iv] Somali media sources say the explosion killed at least six people. Al Shabaab claimed the death toll was 11. Al Shabaab increased its targeting of election delegates and candidates since the beginning of 2022.

Likely al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device targeting a civilian car near Sangailu, Garissa County, southeastern Kenya, on February 10.[v] The explosion killed five people.

Al Shabaab publicly executed a Somali National Army soldier in Gambole, Middle Shabelle, southern Somalia, on February 11.[vi]

[i] Reuters, “Shrapnel injures 12 at Saudi Abha airport as drone intercepted,” February 10, 2022,; and Yahya Sarea, Twitter, February 10, 2022,

[ii] Phil Stewart, “EXCLUSIVE U.S. to help UAE replenish missile defense interceptors after Houthi attacks,” Reuters, February 10, 2022,

[iii] Hadramawt, “Hadramawt Alliance bloc calls for participation in Seiyun demonstration tomorrow, Saturday,” February 11, 2022,

[iv] Abdirisak Tuuryare, “Update: Six killed in Somalia suicide explosion,” Mareeg News, February 10, 2022,

[v] Somali Dispatch, “Deadly blast in Somali region of Kenya targets civilians,” February 10, 2022,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Al Shabaab executes government soldier in public,” February 11, 2022,

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