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 military spokesman unveils new series of surveillance drones; U.S. Department of State condemns al Houthi drone attack; AQAP claims attacks on Islamic State in Yemen; UN Special Envoy to Yemen asks Jordan to host new rounds of consultations; Saudi-led coalition aircraft target al Houthi forces in Hajjah and Sa’ada governorates

Horn of Africa: Puntland President accuses Somaliland of occupying Puntland territory; ENDF opens fire on civilians while escorting TPLF-owned vehicles accused of smuggling weapons

Yemen Security Brief:

Spokesman of the al Houthi Armed Forces Brigadier General Yehya Sarea revealed on January 10 a new series of surveillance drones called Qasef 2K. The drone was used in the attack on al Anad airbase in Lahij on January 10. Sarea claimed that Qasef 2K drone has the capability to carry very large amounts of explosives. Al Houthi forces claimed to target Saudi army gatherings with Qasef 2K drone in Asir region, southern Saudi Arabia on January 11. The attack has not been confirmed.[1]

The U.S. Department of State condemned the al Houthi drone attack on al Anad airbase in Lahij governorate, southern Yemen on January 10. [2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed to have conducted three attacks on Islamic State Wilayat al Bayda on January 8 and 9 in Qayfa area, northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen. AQAP reported on January 11 that militants conducted two artillery strikes and an ambush in areas of Qayfa.[3]

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths officially asked the Jordanian government on January 10 to hold new round of consultations in Amman. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al Safadi announced that the Jordanian government is currently considering the request. The consultations will address the prisoner exchange agreement between the Hadi government and the al Houthi movement, according to anti-al Houthi sources.[4]

Saudi-led coalition aircraft targeted al Houthi gatherings in Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen and Hajjah governorate, northwestern Yemen on January 11.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Puntland President Said Abdullahi Mohamed accused Somaliland of violating Puntland’s territory and occupying Sool and Sanaag regions along the Somaliland-Puntland border in his first public interview on January 9. The Sool and Sanaag regions are disputed.[6]

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) opened fire on civilians while escorting construction vehicles in Metema town, Amhara region, western Ethiopia on January 9. The locals of the Ethiopia-Sudan border town demanded to inspect the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-owned Sur Construction vehicles, accusing the construction company of smuggling weapons. Smuggled weapons have been contributing to violence between the Amhara and Kimant ethnic groups in Ethiopia. The Ministry of Defense said on January 11 it will investigate the incident.[7]

[1] “Qasef 2K enters the battleforce and was used in the Anad drone attack,” Al Masirah, January 10, 2019,; and “WIthin 24 hours… A new attack for Qasef 2K targets Saudi army in Adir,” Al Masirah, January 11, 2019,

[2] “U.S. condemns deadly Houthi drone attacks in Yemen,” U.S. Department of State, January 11, 2019,

[3] “AQAP claims 2 artillery attacks, ambush on IS fighters in al Bayda,” SITE, August 11, 2019, English translation available at

[4] “The UN requested from Jordan to host new rounds of consultations,” Al Arabiya, January 10, 2019,

[5] “Saudi-led coalition targets al Houthi gatherings in Yemen,” Youm7, January 11, 2019,

[6] “Somalia: Puntland’s President-elect gives first interview since winning election,” Garowe Online, January 10, 2019,

[7]Engidu Woldie, “Ethiopia: Amhara regional officials cry foul over killing of civilians by army,” Ethsat, January 10, 2019,; and “Ministry of Defense to Investigate Tragic Deaths in West Gonder Zone,” ENA, January 11, 2019,

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