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 drone attacks airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia; al Houthi Supreme Political Council plans to remove immunity from opposition parliamentarians

Horn of Africa: ASWJ hands over troops to the SNA; US partially resumes security assistance to the SNA; al Shabaab assassinates Galkayo police chief in Galkayo

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces conducted a drone attack on Abha Regional Airport in Asir province in southwestern Saudi Arabia on July 2. The strike CorrectionA prior version of the Gulf of Aden Security Review stated that the Abha strike killed nine civilians. It injured nine civilians.injured nine civilians. Saudi officials claim to have intercepted three of four al Houthi drones launched since June 29. Al Houthi leadership threatened to strike 300 vital targets inside Saudi Arabia on May 21.[1]

The head of the Supreme Political Council for the al Houthi movement, Mahdi al Mashat, announced plans to remove the political immunity of 100 parliamentarians on July 2. Removal of immunity would allow for trials and seizure of property for opposition members within al Houthi-controlled territory.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a (ASWJ) handed over its militia forces to the Somali National Army (SNA) during a ceremony in Dhusarameb, the capital of the Galmudug region in central Somalia, on July 1. Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, the SNA commander Dahir Adan Elmi, and the Chief of Somali Police Bashir Abdi Mohamed attended the ceremony. The hand-over agreement stipulates that the SNA will fund, train, and command ASWJ forces, but ASWJ forces will retain their weapons.[3]

The US will partially resume security assistance to non-mentored units of the SNA. A pilot security assistance program will be implemented with a unit operating in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia. The US suspended food and monetary aid to SNA units in December 2017 due to accountability and corruption concerns.[4]

Al Shabaab militants attacked the Galkayo police chief Awil Nur Roble with a car bomb in Galkayo, the capital of the Mudug region of north-central Somalia, on July 1. Roble succumbed to his injuries on July 2.[5]

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[1] “Command of the Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Coalition Forces intercept, down drone launched by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia from Sanaa towards Jazan,” Saudi Press Agency, June 30, 2019,; “Coalition Forces intercept, down drone launched by Houthi militia towards residential area in Asir,” Saudi Press Agency, June 30, 2019,; “Command of Joint Forces of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Coalition Forces Intercept, down a drone launched by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia from Sanaa towards the Kingdom,” Saudi Press Agency, July 1, 2019,; “Command of the joint forces of Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen: Terrorist attack by the Houthi terrorist militia targets Abha International Airport,”  Saudi Press Agency, July 2, 2019,; and "Yemen drone strikes Saudi airport, injuring nine,” The Washington Post, July 2, 2019,

[2] “Houthis plan to lift immunity of 100 Yemeni parliamentarians,” July 2, 2019, SMA News,

[3] “Somali security chiefs arrive in Dhusamareb to start operations in the region,” Goobjoog, July 2, 2019,; and “Somali Military Takes over Ahlu Sunna troops,” Mareeg, July 2, 2019, ”

[4] “United States to partially restart programs with the Somali National Army,” U.S. Mission to Somalia, July 2, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 2, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 2, 2019,

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