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: Likely Al Qaeda IED kills two STC-backed commanders; STC-backed forces transfer control of Aden Airport to NSF

 Somalia: Al Shabaab attacks a police checkpoint in Mogadishu; al Shabaab claims to have assassinated a defense force official in Mogadishu; new batch of US-trained special forces conclude training

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters detonated an IED targeting Southern Transitional Council (STC)-backed forces in Wadi Omran, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on February 7. The attack killed the 5th Support and Reinforcement Brigade (SRB)’s operations officer and one other 5th SRB officer. The attack wounded “a number” of other soldiers.[i]

STC-backed forces handed over control of the Aden Airport to the Saudi-backed Nation Shield Forces on February 5.[ii] Southern media described the transfer of control as part of a larger effort by the Nation Shield Forces to weaken STC influence over critical institutions and infrastructure.

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab attacked a police checkpoint in Huriwa district, Mogadishu, on February 7.[iii] The police claimed to kill one of six al Shabaab attackers.[iv]

Al Shabaab claimed to have assassinated a Somali National Army official in Wabari district, Mogadishu, on February 7.[v]

A new batch of US-trained Danab special forces finished their training camp on February 8.[vi] The Somali prime minister and US ambassador to Somalia attended the graduation ceremony at Balidogle airbase in Wanlaweyn district, Lower Shabelle region.

[i] Aden Time, “Two military commanders were killed in a terrorist bombing in ‘Omran’ Abyan,” February 7, 2023,

[ii] Al Massa Press, “The Removal of The Transitional Forces from Aden Airport and Handing it Over to the Dir Al Watan,” February 5, 2023,  

[iii] Radio Dalsan, “The Banadir Regional Police said that they shot a fighter belonging to Al-Shabaab”, February 7, 2023, 

[iv] Radio Mogadishu, “The police shot a man who was said to be a member of the Khawarij militia”, February 7, 2023,

[v] Radio al Furqaan, “Governor Killed in a Planned Attack in Mogadishu”, February 7, 2023,

[vi] Somali PM, @SomaliPM, Twitter, February 8, 2023,

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