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 seizes likely Iranian weapons shipment bound for Yemen in the Gulf of Oman; PLC Deputy and STC head meets with Russian ambassador to Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab factions in central Somalia clash over clan-based dispute; Somali forces secure several areas of Galmudug State

Yemen Security Brief:

The US Navy seized a likely Iranian weapons shipment bound for Yemen in the Gulf of Oman on January 6.[i] US forces took over 2,100 assault rifles from a small wooden sailing vessel.

Presidential Leadership Council Deputy and Southern Transitional Council President Aidarous al Zubaidi met with the Russian ambassador to Yemen in Riyadh on January 11 to discuss the truce and counterterrorism efforts.[ii]

Somalia Security Brief:

Two al Shabaab factions clashed over a clan-based dispute in Buqda, Bulo Burde district, western Hiraan region, central Somalia, on January 9.[iii] An al Shabaab commander from the Hawadle sub-clan arrived in Buqda with 50 militants demanding the release of kidnapped Hawadle elders and civilians. Al Shabaab militants kidnapped at least 29 civilians from Hawadle villages in eastern Hiraan region between December 30 and January 2.[iv] Fighting broke out after the faction in Buqda, made mostly of Galje’el clan members, refused. The clash killed eight militants, including the Hawadle commander.[v]

Somali National Army and Galmudug State forces secured several areas throughout Galmudug State, north-central Somalia, on January 10.[vi] Somali forces reportedly carried out operations near base towns in Adado and Dhusamareb districts, Galmudug region and Hobyo district, Mudug region.

[i] Jon Gambrell, “US Navy says it seized Iran assault rifles bound for Yemen,” Associated Press, January 11, 2023,

[ii] SMA News, “President al Zubaidi stresses the importance of the Russian role to bring peace to the region,” January 11, 2023,

[iii] Halbeeg, “Al-Shabaab infighting kills its commander, state media claims,” January 11, 2023,

[iv] Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 4, 2023,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 4, 2023,

[v] Zahra Axmed Gacal, “A senior officer and fighters were killed in a battle between Al-Shabaab,” Caasimada, January 10, 2023,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Operations in southern Mudug region,” January 10, 2023,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Feb '23
Jan '23
Dec '22