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 attacks security forces in Abyan; UN Envoy to Yemen testifies before the Security Council; al Houthi fighters clash over tribal differences in Ibb; Shabwani Elite Forces clash with Hadi government-backed forces in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Airstrike kills al Shabaab Amniyat official in Middle Jubba region; Somali police ban parking in Mogadishu; 126 former al Shabaab combatants graduate from rehabilitation center in Baidoa

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attacked al Hizam Security forces at a security checkpoint in Abyan governorate in southern Yemen on July 19. The attackers killed five al Hizam fighters and wounded three. The attackers used hand grenades and an RPG launcher, reports claimed. AQAP claimed the attack.[1]

United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths testified before the UN Security Council on July 18. Griffiths stated that he maintained optimism that the war could end this year. Griffiths also warned that it would be dangerous to drag Yemen into a regional war in the Gulf. Griffiths emphasized his hope that the December 2018 Stockholm Agreement for a ceasefire in al Hudaydah would allow Yemen to move toward a political solution.[2]

Al Houthi fighters clashed over tribal differences in Ibb governorate in southern Yemen on July 18. Clashes killed on al Houthi leader and injured an al Houthi security director. The tribes disagreed on the sharing of funds and influence in the area. Al Houthi officials initiated a number of arrests against local al Houthi leaders in Ibb on allegations of corruption on July 17.[3]

Shabwani Elite Forces clashed with Hadi government-backed forces of the 21st brigade in Habban district of Shabwah governorate in southeastern Yemen. The clashes occurred while Hadi government-backed forces passed through a Shabwani Elite checkpoint. The Hadi-backed convoy was transferring local employee salaries to the bank in Ataq city, Shabwah’s capital. Some sources claimed that the Hadi government forces forced their way through the checkpoint, while others accused the Shabwani Elites of attempting to seize the cash.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Unidentified aircraft conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab near Qunyo Barrow in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region on July 19. The attack killed a senior member of al Shabaab’s Amniyat intelligence branch known by the alias Ikhlass.[5]

The Somali police banned parking on key roads and highways due to security concerns in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, starting on July 18. Police stated that they will confiscate any vehicles that are parked or abandoned along major roads.[6]

A class of 126 former al Shabaab combatants graduated from the Baidoa Rehabilitation Center on July 18. The former militants participated in vocational training and psychological counseling at the center.[7]

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[1] “Yemeni officials: Attack blamed on Al Qaeda kills five police,” Washington Post, July 19, 2019,; “Martyrs wounded in a terrorist attack targeted security forces in Abyan governorate,” Hadramout, July 19, 2019,; “A terrorist attack kills five members of the al Hizam in Abyan,” Hadramout, July 19, 2019,; “Buried dead of terrorist attack in Abyan,” Yemen Akhbar, July 19, 2019,; and “AQAP Claims 5 SBF Forces Dead, Armored Vehicle Destroyed in Raid in Abyan,” SITE Intelligence Group, English translation available at

[2] "Yemen: UN Envoy ‘guilty’ of optimistic hope that war is ‘nearing the end’," UN News, July 18, 2019,

[3] “Conflicts between the wings of the Houthi militias have begun to take a violent form…details,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni,” July 19, 2019, and “75 leaders arrested in six governorates triggered conflict within the house of the Houthis in Yemen,” Hadramout, July 18, 2019,

[4] “The outbreak of armed clashes between government forces and Elite forces in Shabwah,” Yemen Akhbar, July 19, 2019,; “Shabwani Elite Forces explain the truth of their discomfort with Hadi-backed forces at the al Aram checkpoint,” The New Janoob, July 19, 2019,; and “Salaries survive ambushes from the al Hizam and the Elite,” Aden News Agency, July 19, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 19, 2019,

[6] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 18, 2019,

[7] “More than 100 al Shabaab combatants graduate from Baidoa Rehabilitation Center,” Hiraan, July 19, 2019,

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