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: Houthis continue condemnation of United Kingdom; AQAP claims two attacks in Abyan
Somalia: US-trained Danab special forces clear al Shabaab from rural areas in north-central Somalia with likely US drone support; al Shabaab mortars Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
The Houthis continued rhetorical attacks against the United Kingdom (UK) after the UK ambassador supported the Yemeni government’s decisions to raise tariffs and introduce other economic measures.[i] The United Kingdom supported the “economic measures” after Houthi drone attacks targeting southern Yemen’s oil infrastructure undermined government oil revenues.[ii] Houthi President Mahdi al Mashaat accused the United States and United Kingdom of “involvement…[in an] economic war” targeting Yemen on January 24.[iii]
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed two attacks targeting Southern Transitional Council (STC)-backed forces in Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on January 22-23. AQAP repulsed an attack by STC-backed forces against an AQAP stronghold in Mahfad district on January 22.[iv] AQAP detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting STC-backed forces in Wadi Omran, Mudiyah district, on January 23.[v] The IED killed four soldiers.
Somalia Security Brief:
US-trained Danab special forces with likely US drone support cleared al Shabaab from two rural villages north of Harardhere town, Mudug region, north-central Somalia on January 25.[vi] Somali officials claimed the operation killed 73 al Shabaab members.[vii]
Al Shabaab fired at least seven mortars at the Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu on January 24.[viii] One mortar shell hit a primary school, injuring three people.
[i] Ansarollah, “British Blessing for Starvation: A New Dose that Angers the Yemenis,” January 24, 2023, https://www.ansarollah.com/archives/580958.
[ii] Richard Oppenheim, Twitter, January 20, 2023, https://twitter.com/RJOppenheim/status/1616480936144535585.
[iii] 26 September News Houthi, “President al Mashaat meets with the advisor of the Supreme Political Council, Dr. al Tarab,” January 24, 2023, https://26sep.net/index.php/also/reports/51220-2023-01-24-04-45-33.
[iv] SITE, “AQAP Claims Killing 4 in Vehicle Bombing, Repels Infiltration Attempt by UAE-Backed Forces in Abyan,” January 24, 2023, available by subscription at: www.siteintelgroup.com.
[v] SITE, “AQAP Claims Killing 4 in Vehicle Bombing, Repels Infiltration Attempt by UAE-Backed Forces in Abyan,” January 24, 2023, available by subscription at: www.siteintelgroup.com.
[vi] Radio Risaala, “A recent bombing in Mudug caused casualties,” January 25, 2023, https://radiorisaala.com/duqeyn-goordhow-ka-dhacday-gobolka-mudug-khasaaro-ka-dhashay/
[vii] Hiraan Online, “The Somali government said that 73 members of Al-Shabaab were killed in Miroon area today,” January 25, 2023, https://www.hiiraan.com/news/2023/Jan/wararka_maanta25-183469.htm
[viii] Hiraan Online, “Losses caused by mortars hitting parts of Mogadishu,” January 24, 2024, https://www.hiiraan.com/news/2023/Jan/wararka_maanta24-183463.htm