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 holds meeting to address southern political tensions; AQAP and ISIS claim attacks in al Bayda governorate; AQAP spokesman releases video; Saudi-led coalition targets al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz governorate

Horn of Africa: Kenyan airstrikes target al Shabaab in Boni Forest, Lamu County; Kenyan Defense Force repels al Shabaab attack in Mandera County; Burundian AMISOM forces transfer from Mogadishu base to Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab attacks security targets near Mogadishu; SNA soldier shoots civilians in Jalalaqsi, Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi held a meeting to address the political tensions in southern Yemen in Saudi Arabia on July 10. Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen and Interior Minister Major General Hussein Arab attended the meeting. President Hadi stressed the importance of unity and coordination with the Saudi-led coalition. The Emirati-backed Transitional Political Council for the South, which supports southern Yemeni independence, formed a competing government structure on July 9.[1] 

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda claimed attacks in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen. AQAP killed three al Houthi-Saleh fighters at a checkpoint in Rada’a, central al Bayda governorate, on July 10. AQAP militants last attacked al Houthi-Saleh forces in Rada’a on June 21. ISIS Wilayat al Bayda claimed to kill three al Houthi-Saleh fighters with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Qayfa area, northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on July 8. ISIS and AQAP regularly cooperate on a tactical level against al Houthi-Saleh forces in central Yemen.[2]

AQAP spokesman Khaled Batarfi released the eleventh video in his series “Stories of the Prophets” on July 11. He relayed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to emphasize the danger of idolatry and polytheism. Batarfi’s video series is intended to market AQAP’s ideology to Yemen’s Sunni population.[3]

Saudi-led coalition-backed forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh fighters in western Taiz governorate on July 11. Coalition airstrikes killed 13 al Houthi-Saleh fighters and wounded 17 others in Mawza’ district, western Taiz governorate. Hadi government-aligned forces killed six al Houthi-Saleh fighters in Maqbanah district, western Taiz governorate on July 10.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) jets bombed al Shabaab militants in the Boni Forest in Lamu County, eastern Kenya on July 10. The KDF conducted the airstrikes in response to al Shabaab’s attacks security forces and civilians in Lamu County on July 5 and 8. Al Shabaab uses the Boni Forest as a base.[5]

Al Shabaab fired mortars targeting a KDF base in near El Wak, Mandera County, eastern Kenya on July 11. Al Shabaab attempted to raid the base, but KDF forces repelled the attack. Al Shabaab claimed to inflict casualties during the attack.[6]

Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops withdrew from a military base in Mogadishu on July 11. The Somali government transferred control of the base, which was formerly a national university, to the Somali Ministry of Education. The Burundian soldiers will transfer to an AMISOM base in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, central Somalia. Somali police are expected to replace the AMISOM forces at the former base in Mogadishu.[7] 

Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting an AMISOM convoy in Heliwa district near Mogadishu on July 11. Likely al Shabaab militants assassinated a Somali police officer at Banadir Junction in Mogadishu on July 10.[8] 

A Somali National Army (SNA) soldier opened fire on a crowd of civilians in Jalalaqsi, Hiraan region, central Somalia on July 10. The soldier killed one civilian and wounded two others. The shooting follows two similar incidents near Mogadishu on July 9 and 10, in which Somali security forces killed civilians.[9]

[1] “Hadi meets with his advisors and deputy after days of political tension in the south,” Al Masdar Online, July 11, 2017,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” AEI’s Critical Threats Project, July 10, 2017,
[2] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, July 11, 2017,; AQAP claims attack on al Houthi-Saleh forces at a checkpoint in Rada’a, al Bayda governorate, Telegram, July 10, 2017; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” AEI’s Critical Threats Project, June 19, 2017,
[3] AQAP releases the eleventh video in “Stories of the Prophets” series, Telegram, July 11, 2017.
[4]“Thirteen Houthis killed and 17 wounded in coalition bombing of Taiz,” Aden Tomorrow, July 11, 2017,; and “Six al Houthis and one government soldier killed in battles between the two sides in Maqbanah, Taiz,” Al Masdar Online, July 10, 2017,
[5] Joseph Akwiri, “Kenyan military says it launches strikes against al Shabaab forest base,” Reuters, July 10, 2017,
[6] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2017,; and Al Shabaab shells Kenyan base in Mandera County, Telegram, July 11, 2017.
[7] “Somalia: AMISOM vacates large military base in Mogadishu,” Garowe Online, July 11, 2017,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2017,
[8] “Garowe Online, July 11, 2017,; and Somalia: Policeman killed in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, July 10, 2017,
[9] “Somalia: Govt soldier kills 1, injures 2 in Jalalaqsi shooting,” Shabelle News, July 10, 2017,

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