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: UAE announces new phase of war for Saudi-led coalition; Saudi-led coalition intercepts al Houthi drone near Abha; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Sana’a; Islamic State in Yemen claims sniper attack on AQAP in al Bayda; al Houthi radio station claims to raise nearly $300,000 for Hezbollah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab conducts SVBIED attack in Mogadishu; Islamic State in Somalia leader reaffirms pledge to Baghdadi; SNA conducts operation against al Shabaab in Bay region; KDF forces search for al Shabaab in Lamu County

Yemen Security Brief

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, announced on July 20 that the Saudi-led coalition is preparing to enter a new phase of the war in Yemen. Gargash stated that the Saudi-led coalition is determined to achieve its objectives in Yemen by using military and political means.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept an al Houthi drone targeting Abha city in Asir region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on July 20. The al Houthi movement separately claimed to launch multiple Qasef 2k drones against radar sites at King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushayt city near Abha on July 20.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes against al Houthi military positions in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on July 20. The strikes targeted five air defense sites and a missile depot.[3]

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed a sniper attack against an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militant in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on July 21. The Islamic State in Yemen claimed to wound the AQAP militant.[4]

An al Houthi radio station, Sam FM, claimed to have raised nearly 300,000 US dollars’ worth of Yemeni Rials for Hezbollah on July 21. Sam FM published a video stating that the money will go to support Hezbollah’s resistance efforts in Lebanon.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked a security checkpoint with a suicide vehicle-born improvised explosive device (SVBIED) near Aden Adde Airport in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on July 22. The attack killed at least 17 people and injured 28 others.[6]

The Islamic State in Somalia released a video on July 20 in which the group’s leader, Abdul Qadir Mumin, and other fighters reaffirmed their pledge to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The video is the tenth installment of an Islamic State series that has featured various Islamic State provinces reaffirming their pledges to Baghdadi. Mumin is believed to be in his 70s and was rumored to have been ill in December 2018.[7]

Somali National Army (SNA) forces conducted an operation targeting al Shabaab militants near Awdiinle town in Bay region in southern Somalia on July 19. The SNA killed three militants.[8]

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) imposed a curfew and searched for al Shabaab militants in several villages in Kenya’s Lamu County near the Somali border on July 21. KDF forces had received intelligence that al Shabaab was planning an attack in the area.[9]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kenya story streams.

[1] Anwar Gargash, Twitter, July 20, 2019,; and Mina Aldroubi, “Arab Coalition preparing for Next Phase in Yemen, Dr. Anwar Gargash Says,” The National, July 21, 2019,

[2] “Coalition Forces intercept and down a drone launched by the Houthi-backed terrorist militia in Iran toward civilian and civilian objects in Abha,” Saudi Press Agency, July 20, 2019,; and Masirah TV, Twitter, July 20, 2019,

[3] Saudi Press Agency, Twitter, July 19, 2019,; and “Saudi-UAE coalition unleashes air raids on Yemen’s capital,” Al Jazeera, July 20, 2019,

[4] Maher Farrukh, Twitter, July 22, 2019,

[5] Lizzie Porter, Twitter, July 21, 2019,; and Lizzie Porter, “Yemen’s Houthi rebels raise nearly $300,000 for Hezbollah,” The National, July 22, 2019,

[6] “Deadly blast occur in Somali capital, Mogadishu,” Radio Kulmiye, July 22, 2019,; “Somalia Car Bombing Kills at Least 17,” VOA, July 22, 2019,; and “Shabaab claims 35 casualties in Suicide bombing near Mogadishu International Airport, Reports Surrender of 34 Somali soldiers in Galguduud and Middle Shabelle,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 22, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[7] “Video from IS’ Somalia Province Features Abdul Qadr Mu’min, Fighters Restating Pledge to Baghdadi,” SITE Intelligence Group, July 20, 2019, English translation available by subscription at; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 21, 2019,

[8] “Somali army kills 3 al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia,” Hiiraan, July 20, 2019,

[9] “Lamu village on lockdown as security forces hunt for al Shabaab,” Radio Shabelle, July 21, 2019,; Garowe Online, Twitter, July 21, 2019,

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