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: UN and US officials meet with Yemen’s internationally recognized foreign minister; al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab targets Somali security forces in Mogadishu; al Shabaab attacks Kenyan military bases in Lower Jubba region; US co-nominates al Shabaab militants to UN sanctions list

Yemen Security Brief:

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and US Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking separately visited with the internationally recognized Yemeni government’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed bin Mubarak, on February 23 in the Saudi capital. They discussed de-escalating Yemen’s war and humanitarian relief for Yemen.[i]

The Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on al Houthi forces in Sirwah district in central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate February 24.  Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along Ma’rib governorate’s al Jadaan front on February 23.[ii]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab killed two police officers in Dharkenley district in the southern outskirts of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on February 24. Al Shabaab claimed 12 explosive attacks targeting government checkpoints and security forces across Mogadishu on February 21.[iii]  

Al Shabaab attacked a Kenyan military base in Kulbiyow in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on February 22. Al Shabaab attacked Kenyan bases in Lower Jubba region’s Taabta and Abdale Birole on February 21.[iv]

The US Mission to the UN and the Somali Federal Government co-nominated three al Shabaab militants to the UN’s 751 Somalia sanctions list on February 22. The nominated militants are Abukar Ali Aden, Maalim Ayman, and Mahad Karate.[v]

[i] “U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking’s Travel to the Arabian Peninsula,” US Department of State, February 22, 2021,

[ii] “Crushing a whole group of Houthi death brigades that were sent by the Houthi militia to attack Ma’rib,” Khabar Agency, February 23, 2021,; “Coalition fighters launch airstrikes on Houthi militia sites,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, February 24, 2021,; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – February 19, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 19, 2021,

[iii] “Government police officer killed in Dharkenley district,” Somalimemo, February 24, 2021,; and “Shabaab Claims Wave of 12 Bombings on Multiple SNA Positions in Capital,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 23, 2021, available by subscription at

[iv] “Ethiopian, Kenyan military bases attacked in Somalia,” Somalimemo, February 22, 2021,; and “Ethiopian, Kenyan troops attacked in Bakol, Lower Juba, and Wajir,” Somalimemo, February 21, 2021,

[v] Richard Mills, “Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia,” US Mission to the UN, February 22, 2021,

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