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: ISIS militants detonate IED in Aden city; al Houthi-Saleh missile targeting Saudi border base kills three Saudi troops; World Bank approves $50 million loan to alleviate Yemeni humanitarian crisis; militants detonate VBIED and IED in Aden city; Hadi government forces plan clearing operation in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Djiboutian AMISOM forces clash with SNA troops in Jalalaqsi, Hiraan region; al Shabaab attacks SNA checkpoint near Balad, Middle Shabelle region; al Shabaab condemns candidacy of female presidential candidate; controversy mounts over upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections

Yemen Security Brief

  • Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Caltex roundabout in al Mansoura district, Aden city on July 20. The blast killed at least four people and injured six others. An ISIS militant wearing military fatigues approached soldiers at a checkpoint, asked to eat lunch with them, and left the IED near the soldiers. ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan claimed responsibility for the attack. The IED attack may have targeted the convoy of a Southern Resistance leader Abdul Aziz al Jafri. ISIS Wilayat Hadramawt attacked soldiers as they broke their Ramadan fast in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on June 27.[1]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces struck a Saudi National Guard base with an Iranian-made Zelzal-3 ballistic missile in Najran, Saudi Arabia on July 19. The attack killed three Saudi troops and damaged installations at the base. The Saudi-led coalition intercepted a Zelzal-3 missile launched by al Houthi-Saleh forces towards Ma’rib governorate on July 13.[2]
  • The World Bank approved a $50 million emergency grant to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen on July 19. The World Bank will coordinate with local partners to aid approximately 60,000 civilians. The grant will fund the Social Fund for Development and the Public Works Project, two project-based funds that pay local workers to build infrastructure and support public services in their communities.[3]
  • Militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) targeting the entrance to a security services base in Khormaksar, Aden on July 19. Separately, militants detonated an IED near Greater Aden Park in Khormaksar district, Aden city on July 20.[4]
  • The Yemeni army aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi is planning to launch a clearing campaign to regain control of Abyan governorate with support from the Saudi-led coalition. The campaign first seeks to take control of Ja’ar and Zinjibar, two historical al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) strongholds. The government and coalition forces will then move into Mudia, al Mahfad, Ahwar and al Wuday districts to reassert government control and provide services in Abyan governorate.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Djiboutian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces clashed with Somali National Army (SNA) forces in Jalalaqsi in Hiraan region on July 19. The AMISOM forces killed at least one SNA fighter. Reports indicate that hundreds of citizens of Jalalaqsi are protesting the killing.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked an SNA checkpoint near Balad in the Middle Shabelle region on July 20. The militants killed at least five government troops in the assault.[7]
  • Al Shabaab condemned the candidacy of Fadumo Dayib, a Somali woman recently named African Woman of the Year, for President of Somalia. Dayib lived as a refugee in Finland for most of her life. Her platform calls for negotiations between the Somali Federal Government and al Shabaab.[8]
  • Controversy continues to mount over the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. The Ministry of the Interior has prevented opposition parties from meeting, citing terrorist threats and security issues. Lawmakers also accused government officials of purposefully delaying the start of the electoral process. [9]

[1] "Dead and wounded from the army forces in explosion in city of al Mansoura in Aden (addition)," al Masdar, July 20, 2016,; “Aden: dead and wounded soldiers, an explosion targeted during lunch,” Barakish, July 20, 2016,; “Shalal Shaye'a: terrorism crimes will not only increase the determination to track and prosecute all suspects and raid their hideouts,” Aden Time, July 20, 2016,; and “IS Division in Yemen Claims Killing 7 Soldiers in Aden,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 20, 2016, available by subscription through
[2] "The launch of a ballistic missile at the Saudi National Guard camp in Najran," Sabanews, July 19, 2016,; Yemen Post Newspaper, Twitter, July 20, 2016,; “Direct casualties at the National Guard Camp from the strike of "Zelzal-3" in Najran,” al Montasaf, July 20, 2016,; and "Interception of a ballistic missile launched by the al Houthis towards Marib," al Masdar, July 13, 2016,
[3] “World Bank Approves US$50 Million Grant to Help Communities and Institutions in Yemen Cope with the Conflict,” The World Bank, July 19, 2016,
[5] “Source: a major military campaign to secure Abyan with full coordination between the coalition and the legitimate government,” Aden Ghad, July 20, 2016,
[6] “SNA, AU forces clash in Jalalaqsi, One soldier dead,” Shabelle News, July 20, 2016,; and “Somalia: Hundreds stage rally against Djibouti forces,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2016,
[7] “Five Soldiers killed in Gun attack at army checkpoint,” Shabelle News, July 19, 2016,
[8] Africa Facts Zone, Twitter, July 20, 2016,; and Fred Muvunyi, “Fadumo Dayib: Somalia’s future president?,” Deutsche Welle, February 3, 2016,
[9] “Federal MP claims elections being deliberately delayed,” Goobjoog News, July 20, 2016,; and “Opposition party, Daljir to sue government over restriction on public meetings,” Goobjoog News, July 19, 2016,
View Citations
Arrow down red
Aug '16
Jul '16
Jun '16