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: AQAP claims two attacks in Wadi Omran, Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate; US Envoy to Yemen and US Ambassador to Yemen meet with PLC Deputy Sultan al Arada

Somalia: Al Shabaab claims to have taken control of an area in northern Somalia; anti-al Shabaab forces clear al Shabaab from villages in north-central Somalia; Jubbaland State forces clear al Shabaab along key road in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters claimed two attacks in Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on February 5.[i] AQAP fighters detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Southern Transitional Council (STC)-backed military vehicle in Wadi Omran, Mudiyah district. AQAP claimed several STC-backed fighters were “critically wounded.” Separately, AQAP fighters shelled an STC-backed military position, also in Wadi Omran, Mudiyah district.

US Envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking and US Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Fagin met with Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) Deputy Sultan al Arada on February 5.[ii] Arada emphasized the importance of US diplomatic support to the UN peace efforts, as well as US efforts to exert pressure on the Houthis to cease “escalation.”

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab claimed to have taken over the Durduri area between Lasqoray and El Ayo districts, Sanaag region, on February 4.[iii] Al Shabaab claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device targeting a convoy of Puntland State forces sent to reinforce the area, killing one soldier.[iv]

The Somali National Army and local militia cleared al Shabaab from multiple villages near Harardhere, Mudug region, north-central Somalia, on February 4.[v] The attack killed an unspecified number of al Shabaab members between ‘Ad and ‘Amara.

Jubbaland State forces cleared al Shabaab from the road connecting Jana ‘Abdalle and Afmadow, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on February 5.[vi] The soldiers claimed to kill four al Shabaab militants during the operation.[vii]

[i] SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Claims Vehicle Bombing in Abyan, Documents Detonation,” February 6, 2023, available by subscription at:

[ii] 26 September News (ROYG), “al Arada Discusses with the American Envoy the Latest Developments in the Yemeni Arena,” February 5, 2023,

[iii] Radio Risaala, “An Explosion Killed an Army Officer in Sanaag Region”, February 5, 2023,

[iv] Radio al Furqaan, “Al-Shabaab surrounded Durduri area after an explosion occurred in Sanaag.”, February 5, 2023,

[v] Shabelle Media Network, “Somali army continues to hunt down Al-Shabaab in Galmudug- official” , February 4, 2023,

[vi] Garowe Online, “Somalia: Al-Shabaab militants killed in Jubaland”, February 5, 2023,

[vii] Radio Dalsan, “Four Al-Shabaab Militants Killed in Southern Somalia”, February 6, 2023,

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