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: Al Houthis launch rockets and drones targeting Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia; President Hadi dismisses general following military setback in Nihm district

Horn of Africa: Reported airstrike targets al Shabaab in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthis launched rocket and drone strikes targeting Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Jizan region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on January 29. An Aramco spokesperson said personnel intercepted the missiles before they struck their targets. This is the first attack in the four months since al Houthi leadership stated that they would cease attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The al Houthi military spokesman claimed the attack.[1]

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi dismissed army Maj. Gen. Mohsen al Khubi on January 27, replacing him with Maj. Gen. Ahmad Hassan Jebran. Hadi’s decision came after a military setback in Nihm district in eastern Sana’a governorate on January 26. Al Houthi movement fighters seized an area of Nihm, causing the Hadi government forces to withdraw and wait for reinforcements. Saudi-led coalition forces conducted airstrikes on Daylami airbase in the capital Sana’a on January 28, according to local sources. Intense fighting between the al Houthi movement and Hadi government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition has resumed since mid-January following a likely al Houthi attack on a Hadi government military training camp in neighboring Ma’rib governorate.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

A reported US airstrike targeted al Shabaab in Jilib, an al Shabaab stronghold in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region, on January 28. US Africa Command conducted an airstrike in Jilib on January 27 but has not commented on the January 28 attack at time of publication.[3]

[1] Lisa Barrington, “Yemen’s Houthis say they fired at Aramco, other Saudi targets,” Reuters, January 29, 2020,; Mohammed Hatem and Javier Blas, “Yemeni Rebels Target Saudi Aramco in Jazan,” Bloomberg, January 29, 2020,; and “Houthi rebels claim missile attack on Aramco in Saudi Arabia, announce backing Palestinians against Trump peace deal,” SITE Intelligence Group, January 29, 2020, available by subscription at

[2] Saeed al-Batati al-Mukala, “Yemen president dismisses army commander after battlefield setbacks,” Arab News, January 29, 2020,; "Violent explosion shakes capital of Sana’a,” Yemen Akhbar, January 29, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 27, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 27, 2020,

[3] Harun Maruf, Twitter, January 29, 2020,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – January 28, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 28, 2020,

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