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 forces claim they captured flammable material for manufacturing explosives; Houthis target camp near Ma’rib city with missiles

Somalia: SNA and Kenyan ATMIS forces jointly raid an al Shabaab hideout with US air support; Danab and regional forces temporarily seize a village in southern Somalia; al Shabaab ambushes SNA, Danab, and regional forces with a SVBIED after a counterterrorism operation; al Shabaab detonates an IED targeting civilians

Yemen Security Brief

The Southern Transitional Council (STC)-affiliated commander of the Aden al Hizam Security Forces’ First Sector said the First Sector seized forty barrels of flammable materials in Buraiqa district, Aden city, southern Yemen, on July 10 after receiving “security information” about the barrels. The commander said the materials were “imported for the purposes of hostile activity to manufacture explosives or [missile] propellant,” but provided no evidence.[i]

Houthi fighters launched two unspecified missiles targeting Sahn al Jan Camp, Ma’rib City, central Yemen, on July 10. Pro-government air defenses in Ma’rib intercepted one missile.[ii] Local sources did not report any casualties.[iii]

Somalia Security Brief

The Somali National Army (SNA) and Kenyan African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces jointly attacked an al Shabaab hideout near Welmaro, Afmadow district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on July 9.[iv] US Africa Command (AFRICOM) provided aerial support during the operation.[v] The operation reportedly killed 40 militants and captured six others.[vi]

SNA, Danab, and regional forces conducted another clearing operation in the area surrounding Welmaro, Admadow district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia on July 11.[vii] Al Shabaab conducted a complex suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) ambush as security forces withdrew from the area. Al Shabaab claimed the explosion and resulting firefight killed 38 Danab commandos, injured 43 others, and destroyed 10 vehicles. Security forces only reported only two SNA fatalities.[viii]

US-trained Danab special forces and Jubbaland regional forces briefly seized the village of Hagar, Afmadow district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on July 9.[ix] After security forces left, al Shabaab reportedly returned to the village and regained control.[x]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Ji’ibow, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on July 10.[xi] The explosion killed eight civilians.[xii]

[i] Dera al Ganoob, “The security belt seizes large quantities of chemicals used for military purposes in Aden”, July 10, 2023,

[ii] Said Alhaderi, Twitter, July 10, 2023,

[iii] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, July 10, 2023,

[iv] SONNA, “Over 40 Al-Shabaab Militants Killed in Aerial and Ground Attack,” July 9, 2023,

[v] AFRICOM, “U.S. Forces provide assistance to Somalia National Army,” July 9, 2023,

[vi] SONNALIVE, Twitter, July 9, 2023,

[vii] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims 81 Casualties in Suicide Bombing, Flanking Attack on Joint American-Somali Military Convoy in Lower Juba,” July 11, 2023, available by subscription at: 

[viii] Harun Maruf, Threads, July 11, 2023,

[ix] Radio Risaala, “Government forces have withdrawn from Al-Shabaab-held towns and taken them over,” July 10, 2023,

[x] Horn Observer, “Al-Shabaab recaptures Hagar, U.S. Airstrike kills 10 militants,” July 9, 2023,

[xi] Shabelle Media, “Farmers who were attacked by landmines in Hiraan Khasara region,” July 10, 2023,

[xii] Goobjoog News, “Eight civilians killed in IED explosion in Bulo Burde, Hiiraan region,” July 10, 2023,

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