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: AQAP conducts two attacks in Abyan; al Hizam Security Forces seize military equipment coming from Houthi territory; local tribe kills Houthi commander in al Jawf; Houthis retaliate against local tribe for killing Houthi commander by deploying new forces; local tribe calls on other tribes to support it against Houthis

Somalia: Al Shabaab besieges regional capital in southern Somalia; Danab commandos clear contested towns in north-central Somalia; al Shabaab attacks a security checkpoint in Mogadishu 

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an al Hizam Security Forces commander’s vehicle in Al Wadea’ district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on July 15.[i] AQAP conducted a separate sniping operation against UAE-backed forces causing two casualties in al Mahfad district, Abyan Governorate on July 16.[ii]

Al Hizam Security Forces said it seized 30,000 detonators, 10,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, Kalashnikov rifles, pistols, and binoculars in a truck traveling from Houthi controlled North Yemen at the Ras Imran security checkpoint, west of Aden city on July 15.[iii]

The al Saida tribe killed the Houthi al Jawf operations commander during a skirmish in the al Radmiya area, east of al Hazm city, al Jawf governorate, northern Yemen, on July 16.[iv]

Houthis retaliated against the al Saida after the skirmish by deploying hundreds of military vehicles and fighters to besiege the al Saidaon, on July 18. The Houthis cut off the Yemeni Mobile network in the area.[v]

The al Saida responded to the Houthi retaliation by calling on 12 of the local tribes for support against the Houthis on July 18.[vi]

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab has besieged Baidoa, Bay region, southern Somalia, since July 11.[vii] Militants blockaded roads around Baidoa, preventing commercial goods, including food and fuel, from entering the city because of recent arrests of al Shabaab-affiliated individuals travelling from Baidoa to al Shabaab-controlled areas.[viii]

US-trained Danab commandos cleared the towns of Budbud and Galcad in El Dheere district, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on July 15.[ix] The Federal Government of Somalia reported that Danab killed 18 militants and destroyed a weapons depot.[x] Al Shabaab reported that it killed 14 Danab commandos and injured an additional 16.[xi]

Al Shabaab attacked a security checkpoint in Daynile district, Mogadishu, on July 14.[xii] Militants exchanged gunfire with security forces and detonated IEDs. The attack reportedly killed five individuals, including soldiers and civilians, and injured several others.


[ii] SITE,”AQAP Claims Injuring Regional Security Belt Commander, Sniping Two UAE-Backed Soldiers in Abyan.”, July 17, 2023, available by subscription at

[iii] South 24 English,” Weapons and Ammunition Shipment Seized at Aden Entrance”, July 16, 2023,

[iv] Khabar Agency,”Two Houthis, one of them a leader, were killed in clashes with tribal gunmen in Al-Jawf.”, July 16, 2023,

[v] Al Mashad al Yemeni,”The arrival of more than 100 Houthi vehicles and armored vehicles and dozens of gunmen to storm areas in Al-Jawf", July 18, 2023,

[vi] Al Mashad al Yemeni,”The arrival of more than 100 Houthi vehicles and armored vehicles and dozens of gunmen to storm areas in Al-Jawf", July 18, 2023,

[vii]  Shabelle Media, “Al-Shabaab Sets Up the Blockade on Baidoa, Southern Somalia,” July 18, 2023,

[viii] Halbeeg, ”Al-Shabaab Imposed Land Blockade on Baidoa Villa Somalia,” July 17, 2023,  

[ix] SONNA, “Somali National Army Kills 18 Al-Shabaab Militants in Operation,” July 16, 2023,

[x] Goobjoog News, “At Least 18 Al-Shabaab Militants Killed in Operations in Galgudud Region,” July 16, 2023,

[xi] Radio al Furqaan, “30 Killed and Injured by Danab in the Galgaduud Attack,” July 15, 2023,

[xii] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab Attacks Checkpoint in Mogadishu, Kills Five,” July 15, 2023,

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