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: Trump administration to designate al Houthis foreign terrorist organization; al Houthis attack anti–al Houthi forces in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab clashes with SNA and AMISOM forces in Hiraan region; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED targeting Kenyan forces along Kenyan-Somali border; al Shabaab ambushes SNA military base in Middle Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief:
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on January 10 the outgoing Trump administration will designate the al Houthi movement a foreign terrorist organization on January 19. He said Trump’s administration also plans to designate three al Houthi leaders as specially designated global terrorists.[i]
Al Houthi militants attacked anti–al Houthi forces near Rahabah district in central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on January 9.[ii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab militants clashed with Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia forces in Beledweyne town in southern Somalia’s Hiraan region.[iii]
Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Kenyan troops near the Kenyan-Somali border on January 10. The attack killed at least four Kenyan soldiers and injured dozens of others.[iv]
Al Shabaab militants ambushed a SNA military base in central Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on January 10. The attack killed three SNA soldiers.[v]
[i] Saphora Smith, “Pompeo to declare Houthis a terrorist group amid fears it will worsen Yemen crisis,” NBC News, January 11, 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pompeo-declare-houthis-terrorist-group-amid-fears-it-will-worsen-n1253676.
[ii] “The Houthis are exposed to new loses on southern Ma’rib’s fronts,” News Yemen Fronts, January 10, 2021, https://www.newsyemen.net/new/66408; and “Al Houthi militia admits defeat in southern Ma’rib during fierce battles,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, January 10, 2021, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/190995.
[iii] “Heavy fighting breaks out in Beledweyne,” Mareeg, January 9, 2011, https://mareeg.com/diyaarado-ciidamo-badan-siday-oo-saaka-ka-degay-magaalada-baladweyne/.
[iv] “Kenyan soldiers killed near Somali border,” Mareeg, January 10, 2021, https://mareeg.com/ciidamo-ka-tirsan-kenya-oo-lagu-dilay-meel-ku-dhow-xuduudka-somalia-iyo/.
[v] “Three soldiers killed in Al-Shabaab ambush in Middle Shabelle,” Hiiraan, January 11, 2021, https://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2021/Jan/181319/three_soldiers_killed_in_al_shabaab_ambush_in_middle_shabelle.aspx.