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 Wilayat Sana’a claims responsibility for VBIED attack in Sana’a; Hadi government announces the rebuilding of Aden; popular resistance forces advance in Taiz

Horn of Africa: Marka residents protest following shooting deaths of civilians by AMISOM; fighting continues between al Shabaab and Ethiopian troops in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • ISIS Wilayat Sana’a claimed responsibility for a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack targeting the al Houthis at the al Moayd mosque in the al Jiraf neighborhood of Sana’a on July 20. The mosque is located adjacent to the home of al Houthi leader Ihab Kahlani. The number of casualties still remains unknown.[1]    
  • The government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has announced that they will begin the process of rebuilding the city of Aden with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A Saudi Arabian cargo plane carrying humanitarian aid landed at Aden International Airport on July 21, the first to land since the al Houthis took Aden in March.[2]
  • Popular Resistance forces have been making minor territorial gains within the city of Taiz as they continue to fight against the al Houthis for control of the city. Members of the Popular Resistance movement have reported taking control of the headquarters of the General People’s Congress, al Ashraf, al Barayd, and al Jamhawray areas of Taiz. Additionally, Popular Resistance fighters are advancing upon the al Dubab area of the city as well as the camp of the 35th Armored Brigade.[3] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Residents led a demonstration in Marka, Lower Shabelle region, on July 21, claiming Burundi African Union Mission in Africa (AMISOM) troops shot and killed at least 13 civilians, most of whom were school teachers. AMISOM and the Somali government have yet to comment on the incident.[4]
  • Fighting between al Shabaab militants and Ethiopian troops in the Bay and Gedo regions continued into its fifth day on July 21. Clashes resulting in an unknown number of causalities were reported in El Ilan, Gedo region, which lies 35 kilometers from al Shabaab’s stronghold Bardhere. Al Shabaab has reportedly shut down its Andalus radio station in response to the fighting.[5]
[1] “Islamic state group in Yemen claims responsibility for car blast outside mosque,” Reuters, July 21, 2015. Available:
“Islamic state targets Sana’a mosque,” al Masdar, July 20, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
“IS’ Sana’a Province Claims Car Bombing on Houthi “Den” in al-Jarraf,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 21, 2015. Available:
[2] “Government announces the start of the reconstruction of Aden in coordination with Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Barakish, July 21, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
“Aden airport receives first Saudi cargo plane,” Barakish, July 21, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[3] “Popular Resistance making progress in the city of Taiz,” Barakish, July 21, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[4] “AMISOM troops massacre Civilians in Revenge attack in Somalia,” Horseed Media, July 21, 2015. Available:
“AMISOM kills 13 civilians,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 21, 2015. Available:
“Civilians taken from madrasas,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 21, 2015. Available:
“Civilians accuse Burundi troops of massacre,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 21, 2015. Available:
“Demonstration in Marka after AMISOM massacre,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 21, 2015. Available:
[5] “Fighting continues in El Ilan,” Live from Mogadishu, Twitter, July 21, 2015. Available:
“Al-Shabaab Shuts Down Andalus Radio Amid Imminent Clash With Allied Forces,” al Shahid, July 21, 2015. Available:


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