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: Al Houthi militants clash with Hadi government forces throughout Yemen; US Secretary of State calls for arms embargo against Iran

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab’s head of intelligence resigns from group

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Houthi militants clashed with Hadi government forces in Lawder district in Abyan governorate, al Ghail and Majzar districts in Sana’a governorate, and in al Arish district in eastern Taiz governorate on February 14. Hadi government forces claimed they killed 15 al Houthi militants in al Arish. The al Houthi movement launched a missile attack targeting a Hadi government military camp in Lawder earlier this week.[1]

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged the international community to re-impose an arms embargo on Iran on February 14. A US Navy vessel seized a dhow carrying Iranian-manufactured weapons and missiles in the Arabian Sea on February 13. US Central Command stated that the seized weapons resembled a cache seized in November 2019 that was bound for the al Houthis in Yemen. [2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

The head of al Shabaab’s Amniyat (intelligence), Muse Moalim Mu’awiye, resigned from the group, according to the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA). Al Shabaab leader Ahmad Umar (Abu Ubaidah) dismissed two key commanders from the group’s tanfid (executive) council earlier this month after they advised him to curb civilian attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu. Mu’awiye resigned over the expulsion of the commanders, according to NISA.[3]

[1] “Houthi militia continues to bomb the resistance sites in the Tharah front,” 7adramout, February 14, 2020,; “Violent Houthi attack on government army sites east of Sanaa,” Hour Press, February 14, 2020,; Samuel Bloebaum, Minatullah Alobaidi, and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 12, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 12, 2020,; and “The army announces the killing of 15 Houthis in renewed fighting in eastern Taiz,” Yemen Akhbar, February 14, 2020

[2] “Pompeo Urges Renewal of Arms Embargo on Iran,” Asharq al Awsat, February 14, 2020,; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review- February 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 14,2020,

[3] “Al-Shabaab’s Mogadishu Amniyat commander resigns,” Garowe, February 14, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 4, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute,

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