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: Anti-al Houthi fighters take last district held by al Houthis in Aden; popular resistance forces retake Labuza airbase and the headquarters of the 117th army brigade; ISIS Wilayat Aden claims raid in Aden; local popular resistance forces move to al Anad triangle

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab and Ethiopian troops continue to clash in Bay region; SNA and AMISOM announce new offensive; al Kataib releases video depicting June 11-12 Bay region attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • Anti-al Houthi resistance fighters retook Tawahi, the last district of Aden still held by the al Houthis, on July 19. The al Houthis retaliated for the loss of territory by shelling the city of Dar Saad, north of Aden, on July 19, killing an estimated 100.[1]
  • Local popular resistance forces with the assistance of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes retook Labuza airbase in Lahij governorate as well as the headquarters of the 117th army brigade in eastern  Shabwah on the night of July 17.[2]
  • The Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Aden militants claimed responsibility via Twitter for a raid that captured and killed an unknown number of al Houthi snipers in the Crater district of Aden on July 18. This is the first claimed attack by ISIS Wilayat Aden.[3]
  • Local popular resistance forces are near retaking the al Anad Triangle in Lahij governorate after weeks of prolonged fighting against the al Houthi movement. Local popular resistance forces have stated that they retook a majority of the area after clashes with the al Houthis on July 20.[4]       

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Fighting between al Shabaab militants and Ethiopian troops in the Bay region entered its fourth day on July 20. The fighting broke out on July 17 outside of Gofgudud and continued July 18 when the militants detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting Ethiopian convoys near Dharqo, which is located 75 kilometers north of the al Shabaab stronghold Dinsor. The Ethiopian troops also supported the Somali National Army (SNA) in securing Ufurow, which lies between Dinsor and Bardhere, on July 19.[5]
  • The SNA and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) announced Operation Jubba Corridor in the Bay and Gedo regions on July 19. The operation aims to clear al Shabaab from the region’s main supply routes in order to permit the supply of aid to communities.[6]
  • Al Shabaab’s media arm al Kataib released a video on July 16 that depicts the group’s June 11-12 attack on an Ethiopian convoy near Jameeco, Bay region, which they claim left over 60 Ethiopians dead. The video indicated that the group’s next major publication would show its deadly June 26 attack on an AMISOM base in Lego, Middle Shabelle region, which left over 50 Burundi troops dead.[7]

[1] “Dozens killed in Aden heavy shelling,” BBC, July 19, 2015. Available:
“Yemeni fighters take Aden’s Tawahi district from Houthis,” Reuters, July 20, 2015. Available:
[2] “Anti-Houthi forces advance in Yemen amid heavy Arab air strikes,” Reuters, July 18, 2015. Available:
[3] “IS’ Aden Province in Yemen Claims Capturing Houthi Snipers in Raid,” SITE Intel Group, July 18, 2015. Available:
[4] “Local popular resistance near retaking al Anad airbase,” al Masdar, July 20, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[5] “Al Shabaab and Ethiopian forces clash outside of Gofgudud,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter. July 17, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab detonates IED outside of Dharqo,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 18, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab clashes with Ethiopian troops in Bay region,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 19, 2015. Available:
“Somalia: Allied forces squeeze militants out of key town,” Garowe Online, July 19, 2015. Available:
[6] “SNA and AU launch new military offensive against al Shabaab,” Radio Dalsan, July 19, 2015. Available:
AU Launches New Offensive Against Al-Shabab,” Bar Kulan, July 20, 2015. Available:
[7] “Deep Web: Shabaab Video Shows June 11-12, 2015 Attack on Ethiopian Convoy in Bay,” Site, July 16, 2015. Link available upon request.
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