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-led coalition intercepts al Houthi drone in Asir region; Saudi-led coalition arms local forces in al Mahrah; al Houthi official meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister in Moscow; Hadi government-aligned forces attack al Houthi forces in Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Jubbaland Security Forces arrest Tanzanian al Shabaab militants in Lower Jubba region; female al Shabaab militant responsible for SVEST attack in Mogadishu; Italian Armed Forces to extend SNA training mission

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept an al Houthi drone targeting civilian areas in Asir region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on July 25. The al Houthi movement claimed a drone attack on King Khalid Air Base in Asir on the same day.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition delivered arms and vehicles to local security forces in al Mahrah governorate in eastern Yemen on July 24. The governor of al Mahrah, Rajeh Said Bakrit, claimed that the Saudi-led coalition armed the forces to stabilize the governorate and eliminate smuggling across the border with Oman.[2]

Al Houthi official Mohammad Abdul Salam met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to the Middle East and North Africa Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow on July 24. Abdul Salam claimed during the meeting that US and Western visions for a solution in Yemen will be unsuccessful. Bogdanov and Abdul Salam both expressed commitment to the December 2018 UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement, which calls for a ceasefire in al Hudaydah port in western Yemen.[3]

Hadi government-aligned forces attacked al Houthi forces in Dhaleh governorate in central Yemen on July 24. Hadi government-aligned forces claimed to kill thirty al Houthi soldiers in the clashes.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Jubbaland Security Forces conducted an operation targeting al Shabaab militants near Afmadow town in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on July 24. Jubbaland Security Forces arrested three Tanzanian al Shabaab militants during the operation.[5]

Somali Federal Government officials announced that a female al Shabaab militant was behind the July 24 suicide vest (SVEST) attack on the mayor’s office in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Female al Shabaab militants have conducted SVEST attacks ten times since 2006 according to the research organization International Crisis Group. Mogadishu’s mayor, who was injured in the attack, was airlifted to Doha, Qatar for medical treatment on July 25.[6]

Somali National Army (SNA) Commander Dahir Adan Elmi met with commanders from the Italian Armed Forces in Milan, Italy on July 24. The commanders discussed military cooperation and agreed to extend an Italian training mission for SNA troops.[7]

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[1] Saudi Press Agency, Twitter, July 25, 2019,; and Al Masirah, Twitter, July 24, 2019,

[2] “Al Mahrah: Armored battalion of special tasks for combat crews and vehicles,” Hadramawt Net, July 25, 2019,اخر-اخبار-اليمن---المهرة--تسليح-كتيبة-المهام-الخاصة-بأطقم-قتالية-وعربات.html.

[3] Al Masirah, Twitter, July 24, 2019,; “Abdul Salam comments on his visit to Moscow,” Al Alam TV, July 24, 2019,عبدالسلام-يعلق-على-زيارته-لموسكو; and “On the meeting of the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation on the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov with the delegation of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement,” Russian Ministry of Foreign Policy, July 24, 2019,

[4] “National army liberates strategic areas, killed 30 Houthi militants in al Dhaleh,” 26 September News, July 24, 2019,; and “20 Houthi dead and dozens wounded in a qualitative military operation in Saqtaba,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, July 25, 2019,

[5] Garowe Online, Twitter, July 25, 2019,; and Mustaqbal Radio, Twitter, July 25, 2019,

[6] “Women and al Shabaab’s Insurgency,” International Crisis Group, Jun 27, 2019,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 25, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 24, 2019,” Critical Threats at the American Enterprise Institute, July 24, 2019,

[7] “Italy to extend training for Somali armed forces,” Radio Shabelle, July 24, 2019,

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