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: Houthi drone targets Saudi Arabia; Houthi ballistic missile targets civilians in southern Yemen; police arrest IS-Yemen cell in southwestern Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab suicide bomber kills election delegates in central Somalia; US airstrikes support US-trained special Somali forces in operation in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab attempts to assassinate the Puntland president in an IED attack

Yemen Security Brief

The Houthis launched at least one explosive-laden drone targeting Jizan Regional Airport in Jizan province, southwestern Saudi Arabia, on February 21.[i] Saudi air defenses reportedly intercepted the drone. Shrapnel from the purported interception wounded sixteen people. The Saudi-led coalition conducted retaliatory airstrikes in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen, on February 22.[ii]

The Houthis launched at least one ballistic missile targeting a mosque in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on February 19.[iii] The strike caused an unspecified number of civilian casualties.

Police officials in Taiz governorate, southwestern Yemen, arrested four members of an Islamic State – Yemen cell on February 22.[iv]

Somalia Security Brief

An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vest targeting election delegates in Beledweyne, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on February 19.[v] The explosion killed at least ten people and wounded fifteen others. Beledweyne still held controversial lower house elections on February 20.[vi]

US-trained Danab forces cleared al Shabaab-controlled villages with support from likely US airstrikes near the Middle Shabelle-Hiraan regional border, south-central Somalia, on February 22.[vii] The military claimed to kill 60 al Shabaab militants, including five “leaders” in the operation. Al Shabaab-linked media claimed security forces called in the airstrikes after al Shabaab repelled the soldiers and besieged their base.[viii] The army said they received air support from “Somalia’s security partners.” These are the first likely US airstrikes in Somalia since August 2021.

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Puntland President Said Deni’s convoy near Bossaso, Bari region, northern Somalia, on February 21.[ix] The IED killed two soldiers and wounded at least four others. Deni was traveling to Bossaso to oversee upcoming lower house elections.

[i] Al Jazeera, “The coalition: 16 civilians were injured in the interception of a drone targeting King Abdullah Airport in Jazan,” February 21, 2022,

[ii] Akhbar Yemen, “’We will continue’… the coalition announces the destruction of military targets in Al-Bayda governorate,” February 22, 2022,

[iii] Khabar Agency, “Houthi militia targeted a mosque in Shabwa with a ballistic missile, causing casualties,” February 19, 2022,

[iv] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “The arrest of an ISIS cell in Taiz,” February 22, 2022,

[v]SONNA, “Suicide bomb attack leaves 10 people dead in Beledweyne town,” February 19, 2022,

[vi] Goobjoog, “Six MPs elected in Beletweyne,” February 20, 2022,

[vii] Keydmedia, “US-assisted raid in Central Somalia kills over 60 militants,” February 22, 2022,

[viii] SomaliMemo, “What do we know about the US drone strikes in Fidow,” February 22, 2022,

[ix] Horseed Media, “Bossaso: Landmine Explosion Targets Presidential Delegation,” February 21, 2022,

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