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: Al Houthi-Saleh forces launch missiles toward Saudi Arabia; coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh positions in Sana’a; coalition airstrikes target AQAP militants in Abyan governorate; militants attempt assassination of security official in Aden

Horn of Africa: NISA forces interdict SVBIED in Mogadishu; AMISOM forces mobilize to Marka town in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants clash with AMISOM and Jubbaland Security forces for control of Berhani village in Lower Jubba region; suspected KDF airstrikes target al Shabaab training camp in El Adde in Gedo Region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces launched missiles and mortars towards Saudi Arabia on July 22, 23, 24 and 25. Al Houthi-Saleh forces targeted and destroyed Saudi military equipment in Najran Province, Saudi Arabia with missiles on July 22 and 23, according to an al Houthi source. The Royal Saudi Air Force shot down an al Houthi ballistic missile targeting Najran region on July 23 and responded by striking the launch site in Yemen. An al Houthi-Saleh mortar shell struck a home in Najran city on July 24, killing one Saudi civilian. Al Houthi-Saleh forces launched a Tochka missile towards Saudi Army locations in Jazan Province on July 25. An unnamed source claimed that the missile damaged a military camp in Jazan Province. Al Houthi-Saleh forces resumed missile fire into Saudi Arabia in the past week. Before this escalation, al Houthi-Saleh forces last fired a missile toward Saudi Arabia on June 7.[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted several al Houthi-Saleh military sites in Sana’a on July 25, including a military camp in al Rawdah and the headquarters of the First Armored Division. The First Armored Division was formerly led by Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, who is now vice president to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, before al Houthi-Saleh forces stormed Sana’a in late 2014.[2]
  • Reported coalition airstrikes targeted a group of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters near the October 7 Base near al Husn city, Abyan governorate on July 24. The airstrikes killed multiple AQAP militants and destroyed vehicles, according to local residents.[3]
  • Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting the convoy of Munir al Yaf’ei Abu al Hamama, director of the al Hizam Brigade’s emergency services, in Aden city on July 25. The al Hizam Brigade is a local parapolice force in Aden. The assassination attempt caused no casualties.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali National Intelligence and Security (NISA) officials seized a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) in Bondhere district of Mogadishu on July 24. Local civilians informed security officials of the planned attack. NISA officials foiled an al Shabaab plot targeting the Makka al Mukarama hotel in Mogadishu on July 14.[5]
  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops surrounded Marka town in Lower Shabelle region in preparation for counter-al Shabaab operations on July 25. AMISOM and al Shabaab forces have jockeyed for control of the port city for the last two weeks. Al Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM convoy en route to Marka on July 23.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants clashed with AMISOM and Jubbaland Security forces for control of Berhani village in Lower Jubba region. Coalition forces occupied the al Shabaab stronghold on July 23. Al Shabaab fighters reoccupied the town on July 24. At least four individuals were killed in the fighting.[7]
  • Suspected Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) jets conducted airstrikes on an al Shabaab training camp in El Adde in Gedo Region on July 25. No casualties were reported.[8]
[1] “Army destroys Saudi Abrams tank in Najran,” Sabanews, July 22, 2016,; “Army destroys Saudi tank, bulldozer in Najran, Asir,” Sabanews July 23, 2016,; “Saudi air force intercepts ballistic missile from Yemen - coalition” July 23, 2016, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA),; “Saudi Air Defense Forces Shoot Down Missile Fired From Yemen,” Associated Press, July 24, 2016,; “Yemen­ originated shell kills Saudi man in Jazan,” Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), July 25, 2016,; “Houthis claim to launch a ballistic missile at a military site of the Saudi army in Jizan,” al Masdar, July 25, 2016; “Al Houthis: we launched a ballistic missile on Najran, Saudi Arabia,” el Watan, July 25, 2016,; and “Four Saudis injured because of rocket hits from Yemen,” al Masreyoon, June 8, 2016,
[2] “Air raids in Sana’a after months-long absence,” Aden Time, July 25, 2016,
[3] “Abyan: the coalition strikes al Qaeda base in al Husn city,” Barakish, July 25, 2016,; and “Airstrike targets al Qaeda militants in Ha’a in Abyan governorate,” July 24, 2016,
[4] “Aden: IED explosion during the travel of the convoy of an emergency services leader,” Barakish, July 25, 2016,
[5] “Somali intelligence agency seize explosives laden car in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, July 24, 2016,
[6] “AMISOM forces lay a siege to Al Shabaab-held town,” Shabelle News, July 25, 2016,; and “Somalia: Huge blast targets AMISOM convoy, Two dead,” Shabelle News, July 23, 2016,
[7] “Jubbaland forces and Al shabaab fight on the outskirts of Kismayo,” Goobjoog News, July 23, 2016,; Al Shabaab fighters retake town near Kismayo city, Shabelle News, July 23, 2016,; and “Al-Shabaab retakes town vacated by Jubbaland forces,” Goobjoog News, July 24, 2016,
[8] “Unknown warplanes hit Al-Shabaab bases in southern Somalia,” Goobjoog News, July 25, 2016,; and “Somalia: Suspected KDF fighter jets pound El Adde,” Shabelle News, July 25, 2016,
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