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: Al Houthi militants attack Saudi-led coalition forces in al Hudaydah governorate; Hadi government forces shoot down al Houthi drone in al Hudaydah governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali special forces attack al Shabaab north of Mogadishu; al Shabaab spokesman argues for ethnic Somalis in Kenya to help al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief:

Al Houthi militants reportedly launched an attack on Saudi-led coalition forces in Jabal al Saqiya in al Hudaydah governorate in eastern Yemen on February 26. The al Houthi movement claimed it made new advancements and seized Wadi Shuwiq in al Ghail district in the northern al Jawf governorate following the attack.[1]

Hadi government forces claimed to have shot down an al Houthi drone over al Durayhimi district in southern al Hudaydah governorate on February 25. Local sources reported that the Saudi-led coalition forces have shot down five al Houthi drones in al Hudaydah governorate over the past week. The Saudi-led coalition conducted an artillery barrage and shot down an al Houthi drone in al Durayhimi district in southern al Hudaydah governorate in mid-February.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

US-trained Somali Danab special forces conducted an operation against al Shabaab near the village of Basra north of the capital Mogadishu on February 26. The late-night offensive killed and captured a number of militants occupying the surrounding village farmland. Al Shabaab maintains a strong presence in the rural outskirts of Mogadishu.[3]

Al Shabaab’s spokesman Ali Mohamad Rage (Ali Dheere) released a twenty minute audio recording on February 26 persuading ethnic Somalis in eastern Kenya to support al Shabaab. Rage cited Kenyan police brutality against Muslims, the Kenyan Army’s presence in Somalia, and unemployment as reasons for Somalis to betray the Kenyan government. Local residents spotted al Shabaab cells operating in eastern Kenya’s Wajir County in early February.[4]


[1] “Ansarallah forces launch new offensive in northern Yemen,” USF news, February 26, 2020,

[2] “Yemeni army downs 5th armed drone within a week,” Yemen Online, February 27, 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,

[3] Harun Maruf, Twitter, February 27, 2020,

[4] Liibaan Jeexoow, “Hoggaanka Xarakada Al-Shabaab oo Farriin Gacaltooyo u diray Bulshada Waqooyi Bari Kenyana uJeediyay digniin culus,” Somali Memo, February 26, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 3, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 3, 2020,

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