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: Suspected al Houthi missiles strike Hadi government weapons storage facility in Ma’rib governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target al Houthis in al Jawf governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab leader dismisses two commanders from executive council; al Shabaab kidnapped three aid workers in Gedo Region

Yemen Security Brief

Suspected al Houthi militants launched a missile attack targeting a weapon storage facility used by Yemeni Army forces under President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen overnight on February 4. The facility supplies the Ma’rib and al Jawf frontlines. The al Houthi movement has not claimed the attack. Suspected al Houthis conducted a high-casualty missile and drone attack targeting a Hadi government military training camp in Ma’rib governorate in mid-January.[1]

Saudi-led coalition forces conducted airstrikes targeting al Houthi militants in Majzar in southern al Jawf governorate around February 4. The airstrike reportedly killed 23 militants.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab leader Ahmad Umar (Abu Ubaidah) dismissed two key commanders from the group’s tanfid (executive) council after they advised him to halt attacks on civilians in the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to reports from the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency. A late December al Shabaab bombing in Mogadishu in 2019 killed over 80 people. Mogadishu residents have since protested against al Shabaab. [3]

Al Shabaab militants kidnapped three aid works near Beled Hawo in Somalia’s Gedo Region bordering Kenya on February 2. Local authorities reported that the militants took the victims to al Shabaab’s main Gedo base, El Adde. Kenyan African Union Mission in Somalia forces held El Adde until al Shabaab overran the base in 2016.[4]

[1] “Yemen’s Houthis launch missile attack on weapons depot in Marib,” Middle East Monitor, February 4, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 21, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 21, 2020,

[2] “23 al Houthis killed and others injured during clashes with the army between al Jawf and Nihm,” 7adramout, February 4, 2020,

[3] Harun Maruf, Twitter, February 3, 2020,; and “Al-Shabab claims deadly attack in Somalia’s Mogadishu,” Al Jazeera, December 30, 2019,

[4] “Al-Shabaab militants kidnap 3 aid workers in troubled Somalia,” Garowe, February 3, 2020,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 27, 2016,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 27, 2016,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Mar '20
Feb '20
Jan '20