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: US Department of Defense announces new Iranian anti-aircraft missile seized in the Arabian Sea; Hadi government forces shoot down al Houthi drone in al Jawf governorate

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM airstrike targets al Shabaab near Mogadishu; Kenyan al Shabaab fighter surrenders to Mandera police

Yemen Security Brief:

US defense officials announced on February 19 that Iran developed a new anti-aircraft missile and attempted to deliver it to the al Houthi movement in Yemen. A US military official assessed that the weapons can disrupt US defensive measures and shoot down American military helicopters. The US Navy seized these weapons bound for the al Houthi militants in the Arabian Sea on February 9.[1]

Hadi government forces claimed to have shot down an al Houthi drone in al Mahzamat in Yemen’s northern al Jawf governorate on February 19. Hadi government forces said they have shot down several al Houthi drones in al Jawf and Ma’rib governorates since clashes resumed in mid-January.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

A US Africa Command airstrike killed three al Shabaab militants in Wadajir district in the Somali capital Mogadishu on February 19. The strike occurred hours after al Shabaab launched twin attacks on African Union and Somali military bases in the Lower Shabelle region near Mogadishu, killing more than 20 Somali soldiers.[3]

An al Shabaab militant surrendered to Kenyan police forces in Mandera in northeastern Kenya on February 20. Local police assessed that the fighter was a Kenyan national from the Rhamu area in northern Mandera County.[4]

[1] John Ismay and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “New Iranian Missiles Pose Threat to U.S. Aircraft in Yemen, Pentagon Say,” New York Times, February 19, 2020,; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review-February 13, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 13, 2020,; and Cory Dickstein, “CENTCOM: Weapons shipment from Iran seized in Arabian Sea on the way to Houthi rebels in Yemen,” Stars and Stripes, February 19,2020,

[2] “Hadi government forces announced the shooting down of an al Houthi drone in al Jawf,” al Mashhad al Yemeni, February 20, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 30, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 30, 2020,

[3] “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM conduct airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists,” AFRICOM, February 19, 2020,; and Minatullah Alobaidi, Pamela Makadsi, and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 19, 2020,

[4] “Al-Shabaab militant surrenders in Mandera,” Daily Nation, February 20, 2020,

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