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: Yemeni Prime Minister reiterates support for Kuwait peace process; al Houthi official welcomes UN call for Taiz ceasefire; militants detonate IED in Ma’rib city; popular resistance fighters clash with al Houthi-Saleh fighters in al Jawf governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants launch mortars at Burundian AMISOM base in Elasha Biyaha, Lower Shabelle region; Somali security forces interdict SVBIED in Mogadishu; former Somali MP identified as suicide bomber in July 26 attack on Halane Base in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab militants conduct IED attack on a KDF tank near Kiunga in Lamu County, Kenya; ISIS media outlet claims grenade attack in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghir reiterated support for the Kuwait peace talks on July 26. Bin Daghir blamed the al Houthi-Saleh alliance for the present crisis in Yemen at a meeting of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s cabinet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on July 26. Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al Jarallah issued an ultimatum on July 20 requiring the Hadi and al Houthi-GPC delegations to reach an agreement within 15 days or leave Kuwait.[1]
  • Chairman of the al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al Houthi welcomed a UN official’s call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Taiz governorate on July 27. UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick called for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce in Taiz city on July 27. Pro-al Houthi media claimed that the Saudi-led coalition targeted 50 civilian homes and kidnapped 125 civilians in al Sarari, Taiz governorate on July 26. Popular resistance forces allied with Hadi government forces seized al Sarari town, east of Mt. Sabir in Taiz governorate, from al Houthi-Saleh forces on 26 July after the failure of a local agreement to allow non-resident al Houthi fighters to leave the area. Popular resistance and government forces have clashed with al Houthi-Saleh fighters for control of Taiz since April 2015, causing a humanitarian crisis in the besieged city.[2]
  • Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in a qat market in Ma’rib city, Ma’rib governorate on July 27, killing at least four people and injuring 20 others. Attacks in qat markets are often politically motivated against local actors working to ban qat. Government attempts to ban qat led to several market skirmishes in Aden in May and June 2016.[3]
  • Popular resistance fighters clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in al Maslub and al Aqaba districts, al Jawf governorate on July 27. The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes targeting al Houthi-Saleh weapon stores in nearby al Ghayl district, al Jawf governorate on July 27. Al Houthi-Saleh forces also clashed with popular resistance and Hadi government forces near the 115th Brigade headquarters in al Hazm, al Jawf governorate on July 26.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants launched mortars at the Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in Elasha Biyaha near Mogadishu on July 26. No casualties were reported. Somali National Intelligence and Security (NISA) personnel interdicted a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) in Elasha Biyaha on July 13.[5]
  • NISA interdicted a SVBIED in Mogadishu on July 27. NISA forces seized the vehicle and detained several suspected al Shabaab militants. Al Shabaab conducted a SVBIED attack on the Halane Base in Mogadishu on July 26 that killed 13 peacekeepers.[6]
  • Somali officials identified a former Somali member of parliament (MP) as one of the two suicide bombers who attacked the Halane Base in Mogadishu on July 26 that killed 13 peacekeepers. Saleh Nuh Ismail served in the parliaments of the first and second Somali Transitional Federal Governments before defecting to al Shabaab in 2010.[7]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) tank near Kiunga in Lamu County, Kenya on July 26. The blast injured five soldiers but did not cause any fatalities.[8]
  • Pro-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) media outlet ‘Amaq News claimed that ISIS militants conducted a grenade attack on Somali security personnel in Mogadishu on July 27. Other news outlets have not reported this attack.[9]
[2] “President of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee welcomes the call by Resident Representative of the United Nations for a humanitarian truce in Taiz,” Sabanews, July 27, 2016,; “UN calls for stop of war in the city of Taiz and commencement of an urgent humanitarian truce,” al Masdar, July 27, 2016,; “Hirelings burn over 50 houses in al-Sarari village,” Saba News, July 26, 2016,; “Mercenary aggression Taiz kidnap more than 125 residents of the village Sarari,” Saba News, July 27, 2016,; and “Taiz: the resistance seizes al Sarari,” Barakish, July 26, 2016,
[3] “Four dead and 20 wounded in a bomb explosion in popular qat market in Marib,” al Masdar, July 27, 2016,
[4] “Fresh clashes between Yemeni forces, militias,” al Arabiya, July 27, 2016,; and “Missile force bombards hirelings at 115th Brigade in Jawf,” Saba News, July 26, 2016, 
[5] “Al-Shabaab attacks AU base near Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, July 27, 2016,
[6] “Security forces seize bomb-laden car in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, July 27, 2016,
[7] “Former Somali lawmaker involved in Mogadishu twin explosions,” Goobjoog News, July 27, 2016,
[8] “KDF soldiers injured after IED blows military tank in Lamu,” Shabelle News, July 26, 2016,
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