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: Reported airstrike kills AQAP member in Ma’rib governorate; UNSC holds emergency meeting with UN envoy to Yemen

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM airstrike kills al Shabaab militant in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

 A reported airstrike killed an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader in Wadi Abida in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen on January 28. Local sources alleged that a US drone strike struck a house.[1]

The UN Security Council called for an emergency meeting with UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths on January 28 to discuss the escalation in fighting between the al Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition in northern Yemen. Griffiths urged the parties to de-escalate and to renew their commitment to a peace agreement. The warring sides continue to clash in Nihm district in eastern Sana’a governorate and in neighboring Ma’rib governorate. The fighting has caused hundreds of causalities in the last two weeks. The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes on al Houthi militants in eastern Sana’a governorate on January 23 in response to a suspected al Houthi attack on a Hadi government military training camp in Ma’rib governorate on January 18.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike coordinated with the Somali Federal Government targeting al Shabaab in Jilib in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region on January 27. The airstrike killed one militant. Al Shabaab maintains control in Jilib. AFRICOM has conducted at least four airstrikes targeting the militant group this month.[3]

[1] “Death of a leader of the terrorist organization al Qaeda in a US airstrike in Ma’rib,” al Ghadye, January 28, 2020,

[2] Ahmed Al-Haj, “Fighting sharply rises in Yemen, endangering peace efforts,” Associated Press, January 27, 2020,; “UN envoy calls for de-escalation as Yemen fighting surges,” Al Jazeera, January 28, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 23, 2020, January 23, 2020, Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute,

[3] “Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. conduct airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists,” US Africa Command, January 27, 2020,; and “US airstrikes targets Al-Shabaab commander in southern Somalia,” Garowe, January 28, 2020,

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