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: Saudi forces deploy to Yemeni Red Sea ports following Emirati drawdown; Hadi government-aligned forces shoot down al Houthi surveillance drones in Taiz and al Hudaydah governorates; Hadi government-aligned forces clash with al Houthi forces in al Bayda and Ma’rib governorates

Horn of Africa: Unidentified aircraft conduct airstrike targeting al Shabaab camp in Middle Jubba region; al Shabaab detonates IED in Mogadishu; Sudan’s military council announces foiled coup attempt

Yemen Security Brief

Saudi military forces have deployed to two Red Sea ports in Yemen following a drawdown of Emirati forces in the area, according to Saudi officials who spoke to Reuters. Saudi officers have taken command of military bases at the ports of Mokha in Taiz governorate and al Khawkhah in al Hudaydah governorate. Saudi Arabia has also deployed forces to Aden port city in southern Yemen and to Perim Island off the coast of Yemen in the Bab al Mandab. The UAE announced a drawdown of its forces in western Yemen in late June.[1]

Yemeni forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government claimed to shoot down an al Houthi surveillance drone in Taiz governorate in southern Yemen on July 11. Hadi government-aligned forces also shot down an al Houthi surveillance drone in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on July 8.[2]

Hadi government-aligned forces attacked al Houthi positions in the Qaniya area on the border of al Bayda and Ma’rib governorates in central Yemen on July 11. Hadi government-aligned forces claimed to seize multiple al Houthi positions and weapon caches in the area. Hadi government-aligned forces separately clashed with al Houthi forces in Sirwah District in Ma’rib governorate on July 12.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Unidentified aircraft conducted airstrikes targeting al Shabaab militants near Jilib town in Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia on July 11. The strikes targeted a militant camp and explosives-making facility. The strike killed dozens of al Shabaab militants, including the commander and deputy commander of al Shabaab police forces in Jilib.[4]

Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near a police station in Waberi district in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on July 11. The explosion injured one civilian. Somali police separately arrested two al Shabaab militants plotting assassinations on the outskirts of Mogadishu on July 11.[5] 

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) announced on July 11 that it had foiled an attempted coup. The TMC did not state when the attempt occurred. The TMC arrested 12 officers and four soldiers from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service in connection with the coup attempt.[6]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Sudan story streams.

[1] Aziz El Yakoubi and Mohamad Ghobari, “Saudi Arabia moves to secure Yemen Red Sea ports after UAE drawdown,” Reuters, July 11, 2019,

[2] “Yemen..Downing Iranian-made al Houthi drone in Taiz,” Al Arabiya, July 11, 2019, and “Dropping a Houthi Reconnaissance plane,” Hadramout, July 12, 2019,

[3] "The army recovers a large quantity of weapons and ammunition in Qaniya, al Bayda," Yemen Akhbar, July 11, 2019,; and “Dozens of Militias were killed in an attack by the National Army west of Marib,” Yemen Akhbar, July 12, 2019,

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 11, 2019,

[6] “16 arrested as coup attempt foiled in Sudan, army says,” Daily Nation, July 12, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Aug '19
Jul '19
Jun '19