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: Hadi government forces claim ceasefire agreement with al Houthi militants; Saudi-led coalition seizes port used for arms smuggling in al Mahrah governorate; Saudi-led coalition conducts artillery attack on al Houthi militants and shoots down al Houthi drone in al Hudaydah governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks two military bases in Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab ambushes bus in Mandera County, Kenya; al Shabaab attacks Jubbaland security forces in Lower Jubba

Yemen Security Brief:

Hadi government forces claimed they negotiated a ceasefire agreement with al Houthi militants in al Hudaydah governorate on February 19. Hadi government forces said the UN brokered the agreement consisting of seven stipulations including the cessation of all airstrikes in al Hudaydah governorate. The al Houthi movement has not yet confirmed this agreement.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition and Hadi government security forces took control of a port used for arms smuggling to the al Houthi movement in al Mahrah governorate near the Omani border in eastern Yemen on February 17. The Saudi-led coalition forces in al Mahrah governorate clashed with tribal forces on the same day. [2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted an artillery barrage and shot down an al Houthi drone, killing several militants in al Durayhimi district in southern al Hudaydah governorate on February 18.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab launched twin attacks targeting Ugandan African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) military bases in Qoryoley and El Salini southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region on February 19. Al Shabaab began the attack on the Qoryoley base with two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIEDs) targeting bridges connecting the base to the town. Ugandan AMISOM troops and local security forces disabled one SVBIED before it reached its target and repelled the subsequent infantry attack. Al Shabaab captured heavy weaponry and vehicles from the El Salini military base before SNA forces repelled the militants. Al Shabaab’s last significant attack on a military base targeted the US-operated Baledogle military airport in September 2019.[4]

Al Shabaab ambushed a passenger bus near the village of Lanfin in Kenya’s eastern Mandera County on February 19. The attack killed four passengers and injured six others. Al Shabaab killed 14 people in two passenger bus attacks in Kenya in December 2019 and January 2020.[5]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Jubbaland State security force convoy near Qooqaani village in Somalia’s southern Lower Jubba region. A subsequent skirmish killed eight al Shabaab militants and two Jubbaland soldiers.[6]

[1] “The Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission visits the engagement points and meets the liaison officers in Hudaydah,” al Amalika, February 19, 2020,

[2] The Saudi-led coalition controls the smuggling of arms to the Houthis from Oman,” 7adramout, February 19, 2020,; “Supporting Legitimacy coalition in Yemen: Operation against attempting to disrupt anti-smuggling efforts in Mahrah,” CNN, February 18, 2020,; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 18,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 18, 2020,

[3] “Shooting down a bombed drone in al Hudaydah,” al Arabiya, February 18, 2020,; and Awsan Salim, “Al-Hodeidah .. Dozens of Houthi militia killed in Al-Drahamy,” al Arabiya, February 19, 2020,

[4] “Elite forces kill militants during twin Al-Shabaab raids in Somalia,” Garowe, February 19, 2020,; “5 Al-Shabab militants killed in southern Somali region,” Xinhua, February 19, 2020,; and “Africa File - October 3, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 3, 2019,

[5] “3 passengers killed in Al Shabaab attack in Mandera,” Hiiraan, February 19, 2020,; and Mohammed Yusuf, “Kenya Vows Security After Al-Shabaab Lamu Road Attack,” Voice of America, February 11, 2020,

[6] “Jubbaland administration ‘Eight Al-Shabaab fighters killed in Qoqani attack,” Goobjoog, February 19, 2020,

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