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: Airstrike kills two suspected AQAP fighters in Hadramawt; tribesmen attack oil pipeline in Hadramawt; al Houthi rebels escalate fight with in Amran; gunmen attack a government compound in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Ten militiamen defect to Jubbaland security force in Kismayo; gunmen shoot dead former Turkish aid worker; Puntland elects new president

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected U.S. airstrike killed two alleged al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants on January 8. The strike targeted a vehicle traveling in al Qatan area in Hadramawt governorate.[1]
  • Tribesmen in Hadramawt governorate blew up portions of a pipeline carrying oil from the Masila field on January 7. The attack occurred in the Wadi Urf area. The pipeline had already been damaged in a January 6 attack in the Sah area. The pipeline attacks were in response to fighting between tribesmen and Yemeni soldiers that killed a young tribesman on January 4.[2]
  • Al Houthi rebels fought with members of the Hashid tribe in Amran governorate in northern Yemen for a third straight day.  The clashes began on January 6 when al Houthi fighters attacked Hashid villages in retaliation for the Hashid’s support for Salafist groups battling the al Houthis in Dammaj in Sa’ada governorate.[3]
  • Gunmen attacked a government compound in Ataq, the capital of Shabwah governorate early the morning of January 8. They fired rocket-propelled grenades at a building and fled after guards engaged them.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Ten militiamen who had been fighting under Colonel Barre Hirale in Kismayo in Lower Jubba region left his forces and appeared at a ceremony at Kismayo’s airport with Jubbaland Vice President General Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail Fartag, Interior Minister General Mohamed Farah Warsame Darwish and Kenyan AMISOM officials.[5]
  • Gunmen killed Halima Ahmed, a former employee for Turkish aid agencies in Mogadishu, on January 8 in Bakara Market. The attack occurred the day after a large demonstration in support of Turkish assistance for the reconstruction of Mogadishu.[6]
  • Puntland, Somalia’s semi-autonomous region to the north, has a new president-elect. Economist Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas won the third-round run-off elections with 33 to incumbent President Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamed Farole’s 32 votes. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud congratulated Gaas on his victory.[7]

[1] “Two Suspected Qaeda Militants Killed in Yemen Drone Strike: Residents,” Reuters, January 8, 2014. Available:
[2] “Tribes attack Yemen pipeline twice in two days,” Reuters, January 7, 2014. Available:
[3] “Shiite rebels battling Hashid tribesmen in north Yemen: sources,” Yemen Online, January 8, 2014. Available:
[4] “Unidentified assailants attack government compound in Shabwah with rockets and the guards repel them,” al Masdar Online, January 8, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Former Warlord Militiamen Defect to Jubaland,” Garowe Online, January 7, 2014. Available:
[6] “Turkish Staff member Killed in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, January 8, 2014. Available:
[7] “Breaking News: Abdiweli Ali Gaas Wins Puntland Presidential Elections,” Bar Kulan, January 8, 2014. Available:
Abdiqani Hassan, “Somalia’s Puntland New President Vows to Fight Insecurity,” Reuters, January 8, 2014. Available:
“Somali President Congratulates Abdiweli Mohammed Ali Gaas for his Election as Puntland President and Declares Vote a Victory for Somalia,” Shabelle News, January 8, 2014. Available:
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