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: Militants clash with security forces in Abyan and Aden; al Houthi militants fight with tribesmen in al Bayda; suspected Ansar al Sharia militants detonate IED in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab kills official in Mogadishu; airstrike in Lower Shabelle region targets al Shabaab; al Shabaab ambushes AMISOM forces in Bay region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Tribal militias seized a Special Security Forces (SSF) camp in Zinjibar, Abyan on February 16. Militias loyal to former President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi also clashed with the SSF in Aden city, Aden, after the SSF attempted to dissolve the popular committees in the region, resulting in four casualties.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants clashed with tribesmen in al Zahir, al Bayda on February 15 and 16. Reports estimate that nearly 30 al Houthi militants were killed or wounded in the fighting. Reports also indicate that the tribesmen refused mediation with the al Houthis and are attempting to drive the al Houthi movement out of al Bayda.[2]
  • Suspected Ansar al Shari militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Sayun, Hadramawt on February 17. The explosive targeted the military and wounded two soldiers.[3] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab gunmen killed four Mogadishu airport officials in a drive-by shooting in Mogadishu on February 16. Al Shabaab later claimed credit for the attack.[4]
  • An airstrike near the town of Merca, Lower Shabelle region killed twenty al Shabaab militants on February 16. It is not clear who conducted the airstrike.[5]
  • Al Shabaab ambushed an Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy in Rabdhure district, Bay region on February 15. It is reported that the Ethiopian AMISOM troops killed ten civilians in retaliation for the attack.[6]

[1] “Popular committee ousts special security forces in Zinjibar,” Yemen Times, February 16, 2015. Available:
“Clashes between special security forces and popular committees in Aden,” Yemen Times, February 16, 2015. Available:
“Committees formed to deal with security situation in Aden,” Barakish, February 16, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “People killed in fighting between al Houthi militants and tribesmen in al Bayda,” al Masdar, February 16, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“30 al Houthi militants killed in fighting with tribesmen in al Bayda,” al Masdar, February 15, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Soldeir and citizen wounded by IED targeting military camp in Sayun city,” Barakish, February 17,2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Four Killed in Mogadishu Drive-by Shooting,” Hiiraan Online, February 16. Available:
“Somalia’s Islamist rebels kill four airport workers in capital,” Reuters, February 16. Available:
[5] “20 Shabaab militants killed in airstrike on S. Somalia,” Hiiraan Online, February 16. Available:
[6] “10 Killed as Militants Ambush AU Convoy,” Hiiraan Online, February 15. Available:
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