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: Saudi-led coalition claims to intercept al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting Saudi Arabia; Saudi-led coalition reportedly launches airstrikes in al Houthi–held Sana’a; southern forces shell al Houthi positions in Dhaleh governorate

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrike on al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab attacks bus in Wajir County; al Shabaab gains territorial control in Galmudug State

Yemen Security Brief:

Saudi-led coalition forces claimed to intercept three al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting Saudi Arabia on January 15. The al Houthi militants allegedly launched the drones from western Yemen’s al Hudaydah governorate.[i]

Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes targeting an airport in the al Houthi–controlled Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on January 14, according to the al Houthi movement.[ii]

Southern forces shelled al Houthi positions in the Hajjar area of southern Yemen’s Dhaleh governorate on January 13. Southern forces claimed thwarting an al Houthi attack near Dhaleh governorate’s Qataba district on January 12.[iii]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab in Bulo Fulay village in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on January 13. The airstrike killed one al Shabaab militant and destroyed an al Shabaab compound.[iv]

Al Shabaab militants attacked a commercial bus in Kenya’s Wajir County near the Kenyan-Somali border on January 13. Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan police convoy in Wajir County in mid-December.[v]

Al Shabaab militants took control of territory near Dhusamareb, the capital of central Somalia’s Galmudug State capital, on January 14.[vi]

[i] “Saudi-led coalition in Yemen says it intercepted 3 Houthi drones,” Reuters, January 15, 2021,

[ii] “Al Houthi group accuses the coalition of launching a series of raids on Sana’a and separate areas,” al Jazeera, January 14, 2021,; and “Coalition warplanes bomb al Daylami Airbase in Sana’a,” Hadramawt, January 14, 2021,

[iii] “Southern forces break Houthi attacks from two axes in Dhaleh,” Hadramawt, January 14, 2021,; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 13, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 13, 2021,

[iv] “U.S. Africa Command forces conduct strike on al-Shabaab compound,” US Africa Command, January 13, 2021,

[v] “Kenyan police pursue al-Shabab after bus attack in border region,” Hiiraan, January 14, 2021,; “Al Shabaab militants rob bus crew, passengers in Wajir attack,” Hiiraan, January 15, 2021,; and Jessica Kocan and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – December 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, December 18, 2020,

[vi] “Al Shabaab operates in South Mudug and Galgadud,” Horseed Media, January 15, 2021,

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