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: UN Special Envoy meets with al Houthi and Hadi government officials; Emirati-backed Yemeni forces clash with al Houthi fighters in al Dhaleh governorate; Hadi government defense minister meets with Russian ambassador

Horn of Africa: Somali special forces seize IEDs during raid in Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab claims U.S. airstrike destroyed civilian homes in Lower Shabelle region; Puntland security forces conduct operation against Islamic State near Boosaaso; al Shabaab kills Somali police officer in Mogadishu; AMISOM commanders discuss exit strategy

Yemen Security Brief

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met with representatives from the al Houthi Movement in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on February 11 to discuss the redeployment of troops from al Hudaydah city in western Yemen. Griffiths also met with UN monitoring team leader Michael Lollesgaard in Sana’a on February 11 to discuss the next steps of the Stockholm Agreement. Griffiths met with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Vice President Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, and Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 12 to discuss the Stockholm Agreement.[1]

Emirati-backed Yemeni forces reported conducting a raid on al Houthi troops in al Husha district on the border of al Dhaleh and Ibb governorates in central Yemen on February 11. Al Houthi fighters have clashed with local tribesman in al Husha district since they attacked the house of a tribal sheikh on February 9. Emirati-backed Yemeni forces arrived from central al Dhaleh governorate to support the tribesmen on February 10. This is the first time that the Houthis have entered al Husha district since the civil war began, according to local media.[2]

Hadi government Minister of Defense Mohammed Ali al Maqdashi discussed military cooperation with the Russian Ambassador to Yemen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 12.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali special forces raided the al Shabaab-controlled settlement of Koban in Lower Jubba region in southern Somalia on February 12. Somali forces seized al Shabaab explosives during the raid. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike in Koban on February 8.[4]

Al Shabaab claimed that a U.S. airstrike on February 10 destroyed civilian houses in Janale town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia. Somali National Army (SNA) forces reportedly called for air support during an operation against al Shabaab militants.[5]

Puntland security forces conducted an operation against the Islamic State in Somalia northeast of Boosaaso, the commercial capital of Puntland in northern Somalia, on February 11. Puntland forces captured several people trying to join the Islamic State during the operation.[6]

Al Shabaab killed a Somali police officer with a car bomb near Sey Piano Market in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, on February 12.[7]

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) commanders began a four-day meeting on February 11 to develop an exit strategy for the force that will guide operations over the next three years. The AMISOM commanders also discussed how to reconfigure forward operating bases following the withdrawal of 1,000 Burundian troops scheduled for February 28.[8]

Visit our Yemen and Somalia story streams.

[1] “President of the Republic receives the UN Envoy to Yemen,” Official Website of the President of the Republic, February 12, 2019,; and “Griffiths and Lollesgaard in Sana’a to resolve the Houthi obstacles and an international statement to appease militias,” Hadramawt Net, February 12, 2019,

[2] Ali Mahmood, “Fierce fighting in south Yemen after Houthi rebels blow up tribal leader’s home,” The National, February 11, 2019; “Five Houthis killed by Yemen forces,” Arab News, February 12, 2019,; and “Five al-Houthi terrorists were killed in an attack by the National Army in Southern Yemen,” Saudi Press Agency, February 11, 2019,

[3] Yemen Army Media, Twitter, February 12, 2019,

[4] “Somali special forces seize explosives after anti-al Shabaab operation,” Mareeg, February 12, 2019,; and “Al-Shabaab degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia,” U.S. AFRICOM, February 9, 2019,

[5] “US strike hits civilian houses in Somalia- al Shabaab,” Mareeg, February 12, 2019,

[6] “Somalia’s Puntland forces target Islamic State bases near Boosaaso,” Mareeg, February 12, 2019,

[7] “Somali police officer killed by car bomb in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, February 12, 2019,

[8] “AU military chiefs meet on exit strategy in Somalia,” Goobjoog, February 12, 2019,

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