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: USAID threatens to suspend aid to al Houthi-controlled areas; Saudi-led coalition launches two raids destroying Taiz airport facilities; al Houthi movement repels Saudi-led coalition attack in al Hudaydah governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali company accuses AFRICOM of killing civilian in airstrike; UN Security Council holds briefing on Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) threatened on February 24 to suspend humanitarian aid to al Houthi-controlled areas in northern Yemen if the al Houthi movement does not stop obstructing aid operations. The suspension will begin in late March if the movement does not take action. The US is among the largest aid donors to Yemen.[1]

The al Houthi movement accused the Saudi-led coalition of launching two raids on the airport in Taiz City in Yemen’s southern Taiz governorate on February 23. The raids destroyed remaining airport facilities.[2]

Al Houthi militants claimed to repel an attempted Saudi-led coalition attack targeting al Houthi military positions and committees in the city of al Tahita in Yemen’s eastern al Hudaydah governorate on February 25.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting an al Shabaab militant near Jilib in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region on February 24. Hormuud Telecom, the killed man’s employer, asserted that the strike killed an innocent civilian and not a member of al Shabaab. AFRICOM promised to review the incident to determine the validity of Hormuud Telecom’s claim. The US has acknowledged responsibility for two civilian casualties in Somalia over the last decade.[4]

The UN Security Council held a briefing on Somalia’s political and security situation at the UN Headquarters in New York City on February 24. A representative from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) assessed that the Somali National Army (SNA) will not be prepared for the withdrawal of 1,000 AMISOM troops from Somalia at the end of February. A US representative stated that the Somali Federal Government’s politically motivated troop deployment to Gedo region in southern Somalia’s Jubbaland State diverted resources from the fight against al Shabaab. SNA troops remain in the Gedo region since taking control of territory from Jubbaland State security forces in early February.[5]

[1] Maggie Michael, “US to stop aid in Yemen’s Houthi areas if rebels don’t budge,” AP News, February 24, 2020,

[2] “Coalition raids completely destroy Taiz airport facilities,” Mareb press, February 25, 2020,

[3] “Forces of aggression carry out a failed infiltration operation in al Hudaydah,” 26 Sep, February 25,2020,; 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] Nick Turse, “New Data Shows the U.S. Military Is Severely Undercounting Civilian Casualties in Somalia,” The Intercept, February 25, 2020,; “Hormuud Telecom says US raid kills one of its workers in Middle Juba,” Garowe, February 25, 2020,; and “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM target al-Shabaab,” AFRICOM, February 24, 2020,

[5] “Security Council: Somalia,” United Nations, February 24, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 5, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 5, 2020,

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