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: Saudi-led coalition claims interception of al Houthi missiles; Saudi-led coalition seizes boat carrying explosives in the Red Sea; Hadi government forces claim al Houthi militants bombed ICRC headquarters

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab burns down Kenyan police reservist’s home; Somali police and intelligence agents ambush al Shabaab tax collectors

Yemen Security Brief:

The Saudi-led coalition claimed it intercepted several missiles fired by the al Houthi movement from the Yemeni capital Sana’a toward the city of Yanbu in al Madinah province on February 21. Al Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack and stated that this attack was in retaliation for the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in al Jawf governorate that killed nearly 30 civilians on February 14.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition stated that it seized a boat carrying explosives in the Red Sea before reaching the port of al Hudaydah in eastern Yemen.[2]

Hadi government forces said al Houthi militants shelled the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international organizations with artillery in al Durayhimi District in southern al Hudaydah governorate on February 21. The al Houthi movement has not yet claimed this attack.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab burned down a house belonging to a Kenyan police reservist near Ijara in eastern Kenya’s Garissa County on February 20. Al Shabaab began assassinations and arson attacks targeting the Kenyan National Police Reserve two weeks ago in the area around Ijara.[4]

The Somali National Police and National Intelligence and Security Agency ambushed al Shabaab tax collectors near the town of Balad in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on February 21. The Somali officers killed two militants and injured three others while they collected taxes from a civilian bus. Al Shabaab gathers revenue from an extensive taxation network.[5]

[1]“Saudi Arabia says it intercepted missiles fired from Yemen,” al Jazeera, February 21, 2020,; and “The armed forces announce the implementation of the third deterrence balance operation in Saudi Arabia,” al Manar, February 1, 2020,; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review- February 18, 2020,” Critical Threats  Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 18, 2020,      

[2] “Seizing explosives in the Red Sea was on its way to the Houthis,” al Arabiya, February 21, 2020,

[3] “Houthi militia bombed the headquarters of the Red Cross in Hodeidah,” al Arabiya, February 21, 2020,; and “Al Houthi militias target the headquarters of the International Red Cross in Al-Drahamy,” al Amalika, February 21, 2020,

[4] “Suspected Shabaab attackers torch reservist’s home,” Daily Nation, February 21, 2020,; Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 13, 20,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 13, 2020,

[5] @BalcadD, “Our brave forces @HSNQ_NISA and police have ambushed AS terrorists who were collecting money from innocent civilians at Daniga village. 2 have been killed and 3 injured!” Balcad (Bal’ad) District, Twitter, February 21, 2020,

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