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: AQAP targets Emirati-backed security forces in Abyan governorate; U.S. Secretary of State and UK Foreign Secretary discuss Yemen with Emirati and Saudi Foreign Ministers
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks village in eastern Kenya; al Shabaab attempts to assassinate South West State parliamentarian in Mogadishu; Iran announces plan to release 13 Somali prisoners
Yemen Security Brief
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Emirati-backed al Hizam Security forces in al Mahfad district in eastern Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on February 13. AQAP claimed to kill four al Hizam soldiers, including a commander.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt hosted a meeting with the Emirati and Saudi Foreign Ministers to discuss the Yemen crisis during an international summit on Iran in Warsaw, Poland on February 13. The four representatives discussed Iran’s destabilizing behavior in Yemen and called on the Yemeni parties to quickly implement the Stockholm Agreement, which the UN helped broker in December 2018. Hunt emphasized the group’s support for UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and said that there is a “shortening window of opportunity” to turn the Stockholm Agreement into a path for peace.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Al Shabaab destroyed a Safaricom cell tower in Galmagala village in Garissa County in eastern Kenya on February 13. Al Shabaab claimed to clash with Kenya Defence Force (KDF) soldiers during the attack. Local officials reported that the KDF did not arrive in time to combat the attack, however.
Al Shabaab attempted to assassinate a South West State parliamentarian with a car bomb in in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, on February 13. The parliamentarian survived, but the explosion killed his driver.
The Iranian government announced on February 14 that it has made arrangements to repatriate 13 Somali citizens imprisoned in Tehran, Iran. Iran holds approximately 60 Somali prisoners suspected of illegal fishing and piracy. Somalia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016.
 Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, February 14, 2019, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/1096002065313214464; and
“Three soldiers killed from the Security Belt in southern Yemen,” Mareb Press, February 14, 2019, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=147689.
 “Yemen Quad Meeting in Warsaw,” U.S. Department of State, February 14, 2019, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2019/02/289461.htm; “Yemen Quad meeting in Warsaw - joint declaration,” UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, February 13, 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-declaration-on-yemen; and “Jeremy Hunt to chair Yemen Quad meeting on next steps in peace process,” The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, February 13, 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jeremy-hunt-to-chair-yemen-quad-meeting-on-next-steps-in-peace-process.
 “Shabaab claims destroying Safaricom Post in Garissa (Kenya), Assassination attempt on South West State of Somalia MP,” Site Intelligence Group, February 13, 2019, English translation available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Somalia: Al Shabaab carries out attack in Kenyan town,” Mareeg, February 13, 2019, https://mareeg.com/somalia-al-shabaab-carries-out-attack-in-kenyan-town/.
 “Shabaab claims destroying Safaricom Post in Garissa (Kenya), Assassination attempt on South West State of Somalia MP,” Site Intelligence Group, February 13, 2019, English translation available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Car bomb kills one, injures two in Mogadishu,” Radio Shabelle, February 14, 2019, http://radioshabelle.com/car-bomb-kills-one-injures-two-in-mogadishu/.
 Harun Maruf, Twitter, February 14, 2019, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1095932354483445760.