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: President Hadi declares that Sana’a will soon be liberated from al Houthi control during visit to Ma’rib governorate; Yemeni general announces that the army is prepared to liberate Sana’a; reported U.S. airstrike wounds four AQAP fighters in Ma’rib governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target al Houthi positions across Sana’a and al Jawf governorates and clashes continue between al Houthi-Saleh and government forces in Nihm district, Sana’a governorate; al Houthi-Saleh fighters clash with government forces in Haradh district, Hajjah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants conduct complex attack on an SNA base outside Mogadishu; al Shabaab fighters attack police station in Diff, Wajir district, Kenya; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED targeting AMISOM convoy near Hudur, Bakool region; infighting over government checkpoints kills at least five security personnel near Bosaso, Bari and Beledweyne, Hiraan; al Shabaab resists SNA and AMISOM operation to retake Marka, Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Vice President Ali Mohsen al Ahmar met the governor of Ma’rib, the commander of the Third Military District, and members of the Saudi-led coalition in Ma’rib on July 10. President Hadi declared that Sana’a will soon be freed from al Houthi control, adding that the Yemeni government will not return to the Kuwait talks if the UN continues to support a political resolution that legitimizes the al Houthis. President Hadi promised to free Sana’a during July, to coincide with the first anniversary of government forces’ victory over al Houthi fighters in Aden in mid-July 2015. President Hadi is scheduled to meet with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on July 11.[1]
  • Yemeni Army General Mohsin Masrouf stated on July 9 that the Yemeni army is "completely prepared to start the battle to liberate Sana'a and awaiting Hadi's political issuance to begin military operations." Masrouf denied rumors that President Hadi has already issued orders to attack Sana'a.[2]
  • A reported U.S. airstrike targeted an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) vehicle in Jabul, Ma’rib governorate on July 10, wounding four militants.[3]
  • Fighting near Sana’a and in al Jawf governorate has escalated in the past three days. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions in Khawlan district, Nihm district and the Bani Bahlul area of Sanhan district, Sana’a governorate on July 11, and in al Hatarish, eastern Sana'a governorate on July 9. Government forces repelled al Houthi attacks on the ground in Nihm district, northeast of Sana'a, on July 9. Coalition airstrikes also targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions in al Ghayl and al Maslub districts, al Jawf governorate on July 9.[4]
  • Government forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh fighters near the Yemeni-Saudi border in Haradh district, Hajjah governorate on July 11. The attack killed at least 26 al Houthi-Saleh fighters and at least four members of the Yemeni army.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants conducted a complex attack on a Somali National Army (SNA) base near Lanta-bure located outside Mogadishu on July 10. The militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) to breach the base before militants attacked with small arms. The attackers killed at least ten SNA troops. Al Shabaab militants launched an assault on the same base in March 2016.[6]
  • Approximately 100 al Shabaab militants raided a Kenyan police station in Diff in Wajir district, Kenya on July 8. The militants killed at least one policeman and fled with 13 assault rifles, ammunition, and police uniforms.[7]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (RCIED) targeting an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy traveling to Hudur in Bakool region on July 9. The blast missed the convoy. The AMISOM fighters opened fire and killed three civilians during the counterattack.[8]
  • Infighting broke out between SNA soldiers over a disputed security checkpoint near Beledweyne city in Hiraan region on July 10. The clash killed at least two SNA troops. Puntland security personnel also clashed with one another over disputed checkpoints and tax collection near Bosaso in Bari region on July 11.[9]
  • Al Shabaab fighters repulsed a multi-day effort by Somali and coalition security personnel to regain Marka town in Lower Shabelle on July 11. SNA forces imposed curfews and closed radio stations for at least three consecutive days. Hundreds of civilians fled Marka to avoid the violence between coalition and al Shabaab forces. SNA and AMISOM forces retreated and took up a position 15 km south of the town.[10]

[1] “Hadi and his deputy Mohsin leave Ma’rib hours after a visit to it,” Al Masdar, July 10, 2016,; “Hadi: we will not return to the talks if the UN tries to impose their other vision,” Al Masdar, July 10, 2016,; and “Channel: Ould Cheikh to meet with President Hadi, in an attempt to rescue Kuwait consultations,” Al Masdar, July 11, 2016,
[2] "A senior military commander settles the debate on the decision to liberate Sanaa," Barakish, July 9, 2016,
[3] “Drone hits Qaeda suspects in Yemen as exiled president on visit,” Reuters, July 10, 2016,
[4] “Raids in the vicinity of the capital Sanaa,” Barakish, June 11, 2016,; “Coalition raids on Houthi positions in al Hatarish and the fighting continues in Nihm the east Sanaa,” Al Masdar, July 9, 2016,; “Al Jawf…the coalition intensifies raids in Ghayl and al Maslub and fighting in al Maslub,” Al Masdar, July 9, 2016,; “Raids in the vicinity of the capital Sanaa,” Barakish, June 11, 2016,; The legitimate forces advance in eastern Sana'a," Al Hayat, July 9, 2016,; and “Preparations for the battle of Sanaa,” Barakish, June 26, 2016,  
[5] "Death toll rises to 30 rebels and national army fighters in the border town of Haradh and dozens wounded," al Masdar, July 11, 2016,
[6] “Al-Shabaab Attacks Military Base southwest of Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, July 11, 2016,; and “Al-Shabaab fighters attack Somali army base,” Shabelle News, July 11, 2016,
[7] “Al-Shabab raids Kenyan police, taking bullets and guns,” Goobjoog News, July 9, 2016,
[8] “Ethiopian army convoy targeted in IED blast in Somalia,” Shabelle News, July 9, 2016,
[9] “Two killed in Somali army infighting in Beledweyne,” Shabelle News, July 11, 2016,; and “At least 3 soldiers killed in gun battle in Puntland,” Shabelle News, July 11, 2016,
[10] “Hundred flee Somali town to escape violence,” Shabelle News, July 9, 2016,; “Somalia: Marka city reels under curfew for third day,” Shabelle News, July 9, 2016,; “Somali forces shut Radio Shabelle bureau in Jowhar,” Shabelle News, July 10, 2016,; and “Al Shabaab retakes port city from allied troops,” Shabelle News, July 11, 2016,
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