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 Houthi movement attempts attack on King Khalid airbase in Asir, Saudi Arabia; UN committee coordinates agreement to reinforce the Hudaydah ceasefire; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes on al Houthi reinforcements in al Bayda governorate; Hadi government forces claim to intercept al Houthi drone in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants conduct IED attacks in Lamu County, Kenya and Mogadishu; ENDF begins joint military operation with US AFRICOM in Addis Ababa; Qatari defense officials meet with Somali PM in Dhusamareb

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement attempted to attack King Khalid airbase near Khamis Mushait city in Asir province, southern Saudi Arabia on July 15. The al Houthis claimed to launch two Qasef 2k drones to target ammunition storage and warplane hangars at the airbase. The Saudi-led coalition spokesman stated that Saudi forces intercepted and shot down both drones before they could reach their targets.[1]

The United Nations’ Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) released a statement on July 15 regarding the conclusion of the joint meeting between al Houthi and Hadi government representatives on a ship in the Red Sea. The RCC stated that the delegations agreed on a mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and troop withdrawal organized by the UN in al Hudaydah. The RCC is now waiting for the political leaders of the al Houthi movement and Hadi government to implement the new de-escalation measures.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes against al Houthi fighters in the north of al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on July 15. The 173rd Infantry Brigade of the Yemeni army previously claimed to seize positions from the al Houthis in the Nati’ district on the border of al Bayda and Shabwah governorates on July 14. Pro-Saudi press claimed that the Saudi air force bombed the al Houthi reinforcements sent to counterattack the Yemeni forces on the Nati’ front.[3]

Hadi government forces claimed to shoot down an al Houthi drone on July 15 near Ma’rib city in central Yemen. The air defenses of the Hadi government forces stated that the drone was carrying explosives.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Kenyan Rural Border Patrol Unit (RPBU) convoy in Kotile village near the Lamu-Garissa county border in southeastern Kenya on July 15. Al Shabaab militants clashed with RPBU forces following the explosion. Two al Shabaab militants died and three RPBU officers were injured in the clash. Suspected al Shabaab militants separately detonated an IED outside at a telecommunications company in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, on July 16. The explosion killed two individuals.[5]

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) began Justified Accord, a joint military operation with US Africa Command (AFRICOM) forces, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, on July 15. The exercise is intended to improve military skill and preparedness for East African militaries, particularly those participating in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[6]

Officials from the Qatar Defense Ministry met with Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in Dhusamareb, the capital of Somalia’s central Galmudug region, on July 14. The two leaders discussed increasing Qatari funding for training and equipping the Somali National Army (SNA). They also toured the SNA 21st division base to assess the recent integration of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) forces.[7]

Visit our Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia story streams.

[1] “Coalition forces intercept, shoot down two unmanned drones, launched from Sanaa, by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia, targeting civilian districts, in Khamis Mushait, Joint Command of Coalition Forces, Coalition to Support Legitimacy, in Yemen reports,” Saudi Press Agency, July 15, 2019,; and “Yemen conducts retaliatory drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid air base,” Press TV, July 16, 2019,

[2] “Note to Correspondents: Redeployment Coordination Committee Chair’s Summary of the Joint Meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee,” United Nations, July 15, 2019,

[3] “Coalition fighters destroy military reinforcements in Nati’,” Gulf 365, July 15, 2019,; and “Coalition fighters target Houthi reinforcements in east al Bayda,” Al Khabar Now, July 15 2019,

[4] “The air defenses of the national army down a plane in Ma’rib,” September Net, July 15, 2019,

[5] “3 Al-Shabaab killed, 2 police officers injured in Lamu attack,” Daily Nation, July 16, 2019,; “Three al Shabaab militants killed in Lamu, two cops injured,” Radio Kulmiye, July 16, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 16, 2019,

[6] “Ethiopia-US military training launched in the capital, Addis Ababa,” Hiiraan, July 16, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 11, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 11, 2019,

[7] “Somali PM and Qatari defense officials discuss support for SNA,” Halqaran News, July 14, 2019,; Adan Cabdulle, Twitter, July 13, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 5, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, July 5, 2019,

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