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: Kuwaiti government demands that Yemeni delegations reach peace agreement within two weeks; forces loyal to President Hadi announce offensive to retake large city in Hajjah; coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh positions across Sana’a governorate; al Houthi-Saleh forces clash with Hadi government forces in al Jawf; President Hadi denounces al Houthi-Saleh attack on Saudi base
Horn of Africa: Somaliland and Puntland security forces prepare for possible escalation in Sanaag region; Somali officials doubt timeline for parliamentary and presidential elections
Yemen Security Brief
- The government of Kuwait issued an ultimatum to the government delegation aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the al Houthi-General People’s Congress (GPC) delegation to reach a peace agreement at the Kuwait talks within the next 15 days. The Kuwaiti government stated that the delegations will be asked to leave the country should they fail to reach a peace agreement in this time. The UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed stated on July 16 that the next two weeks may be Yemen’s last chance for the delegations to reach a peace settlement and regain the trust of Yemenis. A pro-Hadi official claimed that the ultimatum was issued in order to incentivize the al Houthi-GPC delegation to make a compromise.
- The Hadi government military announced a large military operation to retake Haradh city, Hajjah governorate, an area of historical al Houthi influence. Government forces supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes seized the Old Customs House in Haradh district, Hajjah governorate and forced al Houthi-Saleh forces to retreat to the center of the city on July 21. Saudi military reinforcements amassed on the Saudi side of the border near Haradh on July 13 after al Houthi-Saleh forces attempted to advance towards the border, according to a Saudi news outlet.
- Coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions near Mt. al Same’a in Arhab, Sana’a governorate on July 21. Airstrikes also struck al Houthi-Saleh positions in Nihm, Sana’a governorate on July 21.
- Al Houthi-Saleh fighters clashed with government and popular resistance forces in Khab w Sha’af, al Jawf governorate on July 20. Coalition airstrikes also targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions in Ham, a town in northwest al Matun district in al Jawf governorate.
- President Hadi denounced the al Houthi-Saleh faction on July 20 for its July 19 ballistic missile attack on a Saudi National Guard base in Najran, calling it a “flagrant violation of the cessation of hostilities” reached in April, according to a Saudi news source. Al Houthi-Saleh forces struck the base with an Iranian-made Zelzal-3 ballistic missile, killing at least three Saudi soldiers. Al Houthi-Saleh attacks along the Saudi-Yemen border from Hajjah and Sa’ada governorates have increased in recent weeks.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Somaliland and Puntland security forces positioned themselves for a possible escalation near Labho area in Sanaag region on July 21. Fighting between Puntland and Somaliland security personnel broke out on July 18. Somaliland security forces captured ten Puntlandians in the fighting and announced their intention to place the captured men on trial. Puntland and Somaliland are contesting control of the Sanaag and Sool regions of northern Somalia.
- The chairman of Somalia’s Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT), Omar Mohamed Abdulle, expressed doubts that the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections would occur on time on July 21. Officials also expressed concern for the successful implementation of the thirty percent quota for female representatives.