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: STC announces plans to form independent southern state; Hadi government foreign minister criticizes Lebanese government for allowing Hezbollah to support al Houthi forces; AQAP claims attacks targeting al Houthi forces in al Bayda governorate; Saudi king pardons all military personnel who participated in Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks police camp in Liboi town, Garissa county, northeastern Kenya; US AFRICOM denies claims of recent airstrikes in Jawaari village, Middle Jubba region, Somalia; AFRICOM commander says indirect influence from Gulf States partially responsible for Somalia’s instability

Yemen Security Brief

The Political Transitional Council of the South (STC) announced plans to form an independent southern state following its first National Assembly between July 8 and 10 . The STC blamed corruption in the Hadi government for the humanitarian crisis in southern Yemen. The National Assembly announced that the STC will establish a federal system of governance in the south and demanded that all northern forces leave southern Yemen. The STC stated its support for the UN negotiations but demanded international recognition and inclusion in the negotiations.[1]

Hadi government Foreign Minister Khalid al Yamani criticized the Lebanese government for allowing Hezbollah to support al Houthi forces on July 11. Yamani cited international law requiring respect of the sovereignty for states and non-interference in their internal affairs. Yamani highlighted a June 29 video by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in which Nasrallah denied that Hezbollah is in Yemen but expressed support for the al Houthi movement.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed three attacks in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen since the beginning of July. AQAP claimed to ambush and kill two al Houthi troops on July 1 and two al Houthi investigations directorate guards on July 7. AQAP also claimed to kill four al Houthi troops, including a local commander, in the Tayyab area of southern al Bayda on July 10.[3]

Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud pardoned all military personnel who participated in Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen for any military or disciplinary penalties due to the "heroics and sacrifices they offer."[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab attacked a police camp in Liboi town, Garissa county, northeastern Kenya on July 10. The police officers returned fire. The police commissioner denied reports that al Shabaab injured multiple police officers and stole weapons.[5]

 Somali media reported airstrikes that killed eight al Shabaab militants in Jawaari village, Middle Jubba region on July 10. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) denied responsibility for the strikes on Twitter on July 11.  AFRICOM stated that the U.S. has not conducted any strikes in Somalia since the beginning of June.[6]

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and U.S. AFRICOM commander General Thomas Waldhauser met in Nairobi on July 10 to discuss joint efforts to support Somalia’s fight against al Shabaab.  Waldhauser stated that Somalia’s instability is partially due to  indirect interference from Gulf countries.[7]


[1] “The national assembly concludes its first session with a concluding statement and a number of recommendations,” Southern Transitional Council, July 10, 2018,

[2] “Yemen calls on Lebanon pretesting Hezbollah support of al Houthi militias,” Saba New, July 11, 2018,

[3] “AQAP claims killing total of 8 Houthis in al Bayda in 10 days,” SITE, July 11, 2018,

[4] “"Saudi Arabia's king pardons soldiers fighting in Yemen," The National, July 11, 2018,; "Saudi Arabia issues royal pardon for soldiers fighting in Yemen," The New Arab, July 11, 2018,; and "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Pardons all Military men, Taking Part in Restoring Hope Operation, of Military, Disciplinary Penalties," Saudi Press Agency, July 10, 2018,    

[5] “Kenyan police foil al-Shabab attack in border region,” Xinhua, July 10, 2018,; Stephen Astariko, “Al Shabaab raido Liboi AP camp but state denies officer injured,” The Star, July 11, 2018,; and “Suspected Shabaab militants raid police post, officer missing,” Radio Shabelle, July 11, 2018,

[6] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2018,; Mogadishu News, Twitter, July 11, 2018,; Tuuryare Africa, Twitter, July 11, 2018,; and US AFRICOM, Twitter, July 11, 2018,

[7] “US, Kenya discuss war on al Shabaab,” Mareeg, July 11, 2018,; and “Kenya, U.S. call for more efforts to stabilize Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, July 11, 2018,

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