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: US confirms death of AQAP emir; Hadi government forces attack al Houthis in Nihm district; Yemeni Information Minister announces death of senior Hezbollah leaders

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates IED targeting Somali MP in Mogadishu; US Embassy calls for reconciliation between SFG and member states; al Shabaab ambushes KDF convoy

Yemen Security Brief

US President Donald Trump confirmed the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al Raymi on February 7. A US airstrike targeted and killed Raymi in northern Yemen in late January. AQAP appointed Raymi as its leader in June 2015. He had ties to senior al Qaeda leadership.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted an airstrike targeting al Houthi militants in Nihm district in Yemen’s northern Sana’a governorate on February 6. The coalition resumed airstrikes on al Houthi militants in northern Yemen in late January in response to a suspected al Houthi attack that targeted a Hadi government military training camp.[2]

The Yemeni Minister of Information announced that Hadi government forces killed an unspecified number of Iranian and Hezbollah military leaders and experts during skirmishes with al Houthi fighters on various Yemeni frontlines, on February 6. The skirmishes occurred in the eastern governorates of Ibb and al Bayda, and the northern governorate al Jawf. The claim has not been independently verified.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali parliamentary vehicle in Hodan district in the Somali capital Mogadishu on February 6. The explosion injured one passenger. Al Shabaab detonated IEDs targeting security cameras on major roads in Mogadishu in late January.[4]

The US Embassy in Mogadishu called for peace talks between the Somali Federal Government and its member states on February 5.[5]

Al Shabaab militants ambushed and exchanged gunfire with a Kenyan Defense Force convoy near Dhobley in the southern Somali Lower Jubba region on February 6.[6]


[1] “Yemen Al-Qaeda leader al-Raymi killed by US strike,” BBC news February 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-5140958 ; Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-january-31-2020; and “Qasim al Raymi,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/people/qasim-al-raymi.

[2] “The Saudi-led coalition aircraft targeted the al Houthis in Nihm,” Almashhad-alyemeni, February 6, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/157173; “Hezbollah leaders died in Yemen, Says minister,” Middle East Monitor, February 6, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200206-hezbollah-leaders-died-in-yemen-says-minister; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 22, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 22, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-january-22-2020.

[3] “Hezbollah leaders died in Yemen, Says minister,” Middle East Monitor, February 6, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51409581https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200206-hezbollah-leaders-died-in-yemen-says-minister/.

[4] “Landmine explosion hit a vehicle in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, February 6, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/explosion-hit-a-vehicle-in-mogadishu/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 30, 2020,” January 30, 2020, Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-january-30-2020.

[5] “The United States Calls for Reconciliation between the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States,” U.S. Embassy in Somalia, February 5, 2020, https://so.usembassy.gov/the-united-states-calls-for-reconciliation-between-the-federal-government-of-somalia-and-federal-member-states/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - February 5, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 5, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-5-2020.

[6] “Al-Shabaab Militants Launch Attack On KDF Convoy In Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, February 6, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/al-shabaab-militants-launch-attack-on-kdf-convoy-in-somalia/.

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