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: Saudi aircraft provide supplies to rebuild Aden International Airport; Operation Golden Arrow forces will seek the liberation of Abyan, Lahij, and Taiz

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA capture Dinsoor; al Shabaab recovers towns in Bay and Gedo regions; U.S. military confirms airstrikes in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two Saudi Arabian warplanes landed at Aden International Airport on July 24 with supplies to rebuild and reopen the airport after it had suffered significant damage during prolonged conflict between southern popular resistance forces and the al Houthi movement. The delivery comes after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom’s Defense Minister, ordered the delivery of cargo planes carrying humanitarian aid to Aden following instructions from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud. Separately, the first Emirati warplane also landed at Aden International Airport carrying humanitarian aid.[1] 
  • Brigadier General Abdullah al Subayhi, commander of Operation Golden Arrow forces in Aden, has stated that army forces in conjunction with southern popular resistance fighters will seek to liberate Abyan, Lahij, and Taiz governorates with the possibility of additionally liberating the governorate of Ibb.[2] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) recovered al Shabaab’s last major stronghold Dinsoor, Bay region, on July 24. Residents report that the militants withdrew from the town on July 23, following days of fighting. AMISOM seized Bardhere, Gedo region, from the group on July 22 and has since imposed a curfew on the city.[3]
  • Al Shabaab militants seized at least eleven towns in Bay region and at least one in Gedo region on July 23. AMISOM had previously recovered the towns during the on-going operation to drive al Shabaab from its strongholds in the regions, which began on July 15.[4] 
  • The U.S. military’s Africa Command confirmed CNN’s allegations that the U.S. has conducted airstrikes targeting al Shabaab in the Gedo region during the past week but denied claims that the airstrikes are linked to President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya. An unnamed U.S. military official also stated that the U.S. is shifting its policies in Somalia from targeting high-profile al Shabaab leaders to protecting forces friendly with the Somali government.[5]


[1] “Saudis Land in Aden Bringing Equipment to Re-Open Airport: Arabiya TV,” The New York Times, July 24, 2015. Available:
“Emirati plane brings aid to Yemen’s Aden,” al Arabiya, July 24, 2015. Available:
“Saudi defense minister orders aid delivery to Yemen,” al Arabiya, July 24, 2015. Available:
[2] “Brigadier General Abdullah al Subayhi states forces will seek to liberate Abyan and Taiz, with the possibility of Ibb,” al Masdar, July 23, 2015. Available:
[3] “Al Shabaab withdraws from Dinsoor,” Hamza Mohamed, Twitter, July 24, 2015. Available:
“Allied forces approach Dinsor, rebels withdraw,” Hiiraan Online, July 24, 2015. Available:
“African Union troops capture Dinsor town from Al-Shabaab,” The Daily Nation, July 24, 2015. Available:
“Somalia: Curfew imposed on liberated city Bardhere,” Mareeg, July 24, 2015. Available:
[4]“Al Shabaab seizes 11 towns,” Hamza Mohamed, Twitter, July 23, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab seizes towns in the Bay region,” Hamza Mohamed, Twitter, July 23, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab seizes towns in the Gedo region,” Hamza Mohamed, Twitter, July 23, 2015. Available:
“Al Shabaab retakes Dhargo,” Hamza Mohamed, Twitter, July 23, 2015. Available:
[5] “U.S. airstrikes in Somalia signal a more direct role against al Shabaab,” Shabelle News, July 24, 2015. Available:
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