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 forces use drone to attack Hadi government airbase in Lahij; Hadi government Deputy Foreign Minister meets with deputy U.S. ambassador to Yemen; al Houthi forces claim to fire ballistic missile in Hajjah governorate

Horn of Africa: Thousands of protesters march on Sudan’s parliament; Russian PMCs deploy to Khartoum during protests; AFRICOM airstrike kills six al Shabaab militants in Bay region; al Shabaab ambushes Somali police in Marka

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces attacked Anad airbase with a drone carrying explosives in Lahij governorate, southern Yemen on January 10. The drone attack killed five soldiers from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and wounded at least 20 others. Al Houthi forces claimed to wound the head of the Hadi government’s intelligence service, the Army Chief of Staff, and the governor of Lahij. Al Houthi forces also claimed that the attack targeted personnel from the Saudi-led coalition.[1]

Hadi government Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al Hadhrami met with Deputy Representative to the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Juneid Munbir in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 10. Al Hadhrami stated that al Houthi violations of the al Hudaydah ceasefire thwart peace efforts.[2]

Al Houthi forces claimed to fire a Badr P1 ballistic missile at Midi district in Hajjah governorate, northwestern Yemen on January 9. The attack has not been confirmed.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Thousands of protesters marched in Omdurman towards Sudan’s parliament in a demonstration against President Omar al Bashir on January 9. Sudanese police fired in the air and used tear gas to prevent the protesters from reaching parliament. Thousands of Bashir supporters held a rally in Khartoum on January 9. Bashir thanked China, Russia, Kuwait, the UAE, and Qatar for their support in a speech during the rally and stated that he would only step down through elections.[4]

The Russian private military firm Wagner has been deployed to Khartoum since December, according to a report by the Sudan Tribune newspaper. The Wagner contractors are reportedly training the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).[5]

A United States Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) airstrike killed six al Shabaab militants in Yaaqbaraway, Bay region, southern Somalia on January 8.[6]

Al Shabaab ambushed Somali police in Marka town, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on January 9. Police killed two militants. The police were conducting operations in response to an al Shabaab raid on a police station in Marka the night before.[7]

[1] “Including an Emirati soldier… Anad airbase attack brings a state of gaze to the camp of aggression,” Al Masirah, January 10, 2019,; “Yemen soldiers killed in Houthi drone attack on base,” BBC, January 10, 2019,; and “Casualties and wounded from the Yemeni army due to an al Houthi drone attack,” Al Arabiya, January 10, 2019,

[2] “Al Hadhrami: Al Houthi violations to the ceasefire aims to thwart peace efforts in Yemen,” January 10, 2019,

[3] Wikalat al Naba’a, Twitter, January 9, 2019,

[4] Samy Magdy, “Sudan's president rejects protesters' calls to step down,” AP, January 9, 2019,; “January 9, 2019: Pro-Bashir protests hit Khartoum,” Africa News, January 9, 2019,; and Hamza Hendawi, “Sudan’s opposition calls for more protests against al-Bashir,” AP, January 3, 2019,

[5] “Russian military firm working with Sudan security service: sources,” Sudan Tribune, January 8, 2019,; and  “Russian private military contractors spotted in Sudan,” Defence-Blog, January 6, 2019,

[6] “Al-Shabaab Degraded by U.S., Federal Government of Somalia,” United States Africa Command, January 9, 2019,

[7] “Somalia: Two killed in fighting against Al Shabaab,” Mareeg, January 10, 2019,

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