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: Al Hizam Security Forces commander calls for the forceful removal of the Hadi government and northern forces from southern Yemen; ISIS releases video of captured AQAP militants in al Bayda governorate; al Houthi projectile wounds three Saudi civilians in Jizan region, Saudi Arabia
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates two SVBIEDs outside Presidential Palace in Mogadishu; al Shabaab assassinates senior Somali official in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab IED targets regional government officials in Baidoa, Bay region
Yemen Security Brief
Commander of the al Hizam Security Forces First Brigade Brigadier General Abu Yamama (Munir Mahmoud Yafa’i) vowed to expel the Hadi government from southern Yemen within a few days in a July 15 speech from Aden city, southern Yemen. Yamama accused the Hadi government of corruption and criticized it for failing to provide basic services to citizens. Yamama also stated his commitment to expel all forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi from the south. President Hadi deployed armored vehicles near his home in Aden City in response to Yamama’s speech.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) released a video of captured al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in area, northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on July 15. The video showed 12 alleged AQAP militants who spoke about clashes with ISIS after failing to stop at a checkpoint.. An AQAP-affiliated Telegram channel claimed ISIS brutally killed the AQAP militants after producing the video, reflecting their “moral failure.” It also stated that ISIS only released the video to blame AQAP for the attack.
An al Houthi projectile hit al Aridha city, Jizan region, southwest Saudi Arabia on July 15. The projectile wounded three Saudi civilians, according to the Saudi Civil Defense Spokesperson on July 16. Al Houthi forces claimed to shell Saudi military positions in al Aridha on July 16.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Al Shabaab militants detonated two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) at security checkpoints around the Presidential Palace and the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu on July 14. Al Shabaab militants then exchanged fire with security forces. Al Shabaab claimed to kill 25 Presidential Palace guards in the attack. Somalia’s security minister order the arrest of 30 security officials after the attack.
Al Shabaab claimed its forces assassinated the deputy official of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), Colonel Goodle Muhammad Noor, and his driver in Afgoi town, region, Somalia on July 15. The assassins tried to kidnap Colonel Noor but shot him when he refused to comply with their orders. Al Shabaab militants took his vehicle and weapons.
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali military vehicle carrying regional government officials in Baidoa town, Bay region, southwestern Somalia on July 15. The explosion injured eight people. The number of dead is unknown.
 “Brigadier Yafei: We reject any presence of northern forces in the south and warn the government of its persistence in tampering with the south,” Aden 24, July 16, 2018, http://aden24.net/specifics.asp?NewsID=6493; “Abu al Yamamah vows to control Aden and the expulsion of the legitmate government within days,” Aden al Ghad, July 15, 2018, http://www.adengd.net/news/327175/; and Murad Abdu, Twitter, July 16, 2018, https://twitter.com/MuradAbdu/status/1018837714035138566.
 “Acknowledging reports of violent conflict between groups in Yemen, IS’ Amaq releases video of imprisoned AQAP fighters,” SITE, July 15, 2018, https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Statements/acknowledging-reports-of-violent-conflict-between-groups-in-yemen-is-amaq-releases-video-of-imprisoned-aqap-fighters.html.
 "Saudi Arabia says 3 wounded in projectile attack from Yemen," Associated Press, July 16, 2018 https://apnews.com/eaf85e24d8264feea863b8e98c3bfc33; "Shelling of concentrations of Saudi soldiers in Jizan," Al Masirah, July 16, 2018, https://www.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=26200&cat_id=3; and "The Artillery Force renewed the shelling of the concentrations of Saudi soldiers in Jizan," Al Masirah, July 16, 2018, https://www.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=26196&cat_id=3.
 “Shabaab claims 25+ casualties in 2 suicide bombings and raid at Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, other attacks in capital and Afgoye,” SITE, July 15, 2018, available by subscription at https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/; “Somalia: Death toll tops after explosions in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, July 14, 2018, https://mareeg.com/ethiobiafighters-attacked-on-kebridahar-airport-onlf-official-32/; Maalik Soom, “Twin car bomb blasts near Villa Somalia leave 8 dead,” Radio Shabelle, July 14, 2018, http://radioshabelle.com/twin-car-bomb-blasts-near-villa-somalia-leave-8-dead/; Abdulaziz Osman, “Pair of deadly car bombs rip Mogadishu,” VOA News, July 14, 2018, https://www.voanews.com/a/pair-of-deadly-car-bombs-rip-mogadishu/4482614.html; and Mogadishu News, Twitter, July 15, 2018, https://twitter.com/Mogadishu_News/status/1018523184629415941/photo/1.
 “Shabaab claims 25+ casualties in 2 suicide bombings and raid at Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, other attacks in capital and Afgoye,” SITE, July 15, 2018, available by subscription at https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/; and “Somalia: Retired army general shot dead by gunmen near Mogadishu,” Mareeg, July 15, 2018, https://mareeg.com/somalia-retired-army-general-shot-dead-by-gunmen-near-mogadishu/.
 “Somalia: Roadside blast hits military convoy near Baidoa,” Mareeg, July 15, 2018, https://mareeg.com/somalia-roadside-blast-hits-military-convoy-near-baidoa/; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 15, 2018, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1018405750237028353.