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 spokesperson rejects presence of northern forces in southern Yemen; French envoy meets with al Houthi leaders to discuss humanitarian crisis; al Houthi forces fire ballistic missile at Jizan region, Saudi Arabia; militant assassinates security official in Aden

Horn of Africa: Residents flee al Shabaab child conscription in Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab kidnaps two district officials in Gedo region; al Shabaab attacks SNA base in Qoryoley, Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

The Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) spokesperson stated that the STC rejects the presence of northern military forces in Yemen’s southern governorates on July 17. Northern forces refers to forces aligned with Tariq Saleh and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The spokesperson reiterated that STC-aligned forces are ready to fight for their liberation.[1]

French envoy to Yemen Christian Testot met with al Houthi officials in Sana’a city to discuss the humanitarian crisis on July 18. Testot discussed the outcomes of the June 27 international aid conference on Yemen held in Paris, the UN peace process, and the status of a French national detained by al Houthi forces in western Yemen in June.[2]

Al Houthi forces fired a Badr 1 ballistic missile at Jizan airport in Jizan region, southern Saudi Arabia on July 19. Saudi air defense systems intercepted the missile.[3]

Gunmen assassinated Director of Criminal Research at Central Prison in Mansoura district Colonel Saif al Dhali in Aden governorate on July 19. [4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab accelerated a child conscription campaign in villages in Adale district, Middle Shabelle region. Al Shabaab militants ordered parents and elders to surrender their children. Hundreds of civilians have fled in response.[5]

Likely al Shabaab militants simultaneously kidnapped the administrators of Shatalow and Adaley towns in Luuq district, Gedo region, southwestern Somalia on July 18.[6]

Al Shabaab attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Qoryoley, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on July 18. The SNA claimed to kill two al Shabaab militants, including a senior militant, and wounding several others in the gunfight. Al Shabaab claimed to kill two SNA soldiers.[7]

[1] Salem Thabet Al Awlaki, Twitter, July 17, 2018,; and "The southern transition spokesman says the southerners reject the presence of northern forces," Al Masdar Online, July 17, 2018,   [2] “French envoy for Yemen meets Houthis, pushes aid effort,” Reuters, July 18, 2018,; and "The French contacted the rebellious Houthis and sent a high delegation to Sa'ana," Mareb Press, July 19, 2018,  [3] “The Saudi defenses blocked ballistic fired by Houthis on Jizan,” Al Masdar Online, July 19, 2018,; alekhbariyatv, Twitter, July 19, 2018,; and "Badr 1 ballistic missile hits Jizan airport," Al Masirah, July 19, 2018,[4] "Aden: Unidentified gunmen assassinate security official," Al Masdar Online, July 19, 2018,[5] “Hundreds of locals fled their homes in Middle Shabelle region after Al-Shabab starts massive child recruitment,” Halbeeg, July 18, 2018,; and “Hundreds flee as Al Shabaab militants begin recruitng children,” Standard, July 19, 2018,[6] “Suspected Al-Shabab fighters kidnap district officers in Gedo region,” Halbeeg, July 19, 2018,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 19, 2018,[7] “Shabaab claims killing 5 Somali soldiers in Qoryoley (Lower Shabelle), striking AMISOM base outside Mogadishu,” SITE, July 19, 2018, available by subscription at;  “Somalia army kills senior militant in fighting,” Garowe, July 19, 2018,; “Somalia: Two people killed in Qoryoley fighting,” Mareeg, July 19, 2018,; “Two Al-Shabab fighters killed in Qoryoley town after a gun battle with SNA,” Halbeeg, July 19, 2018,;  and “A fierce fighting near Qoryoley leaves one militant dead, says official,” Radio Shabelle, July 19, 2018,
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