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 resumes airstrikes on al Hudaydah city; U.S. Secretary of Defense meets with the Omani foreign minister; UN Special Envoy to Yemen discusses UN peace efforts with al Houthi leadership; Emirati foreign minister condemns Iranian support for al Houthi forces; Hadi government foreign minister plans to lobby UN to condemn al Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

Horn of Africa: SNA and regional forces kill al Shabaab senior leader in Bay region, southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab IEDs target Burundian forces near Balad, Middle Shabelle region; ISIS claims killing police officer in Boosaaso, Puntland; al Shabaab ambushes Kenyan police vehicle in Lamu County, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes on al Hudaydah port city on July 27. Al Houthi forces struck a Saudi oil tanker near al Hudaydah on July 25. The airstrikes damaged an IRC-supported health facility in the city, forcing it to suspend operations. The coalition bombed an al Houthi military police camp in the city and, according to al Houthi media, hit the city’s main fishing pier and radio station. Coalition airstrikes also hit al Zaidaih district in northern al Hudaydah, Zabid district in southern al Hudaydah, and al Hali district just northeast of al Hudaydah city.[1]

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed the Yemen conflict with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi at the Pentagon on July 27. Secretary Mattis and Alawi also discussed America’s defense relationship with Oman and other regional security issues.[2]

Al Houthi Supreme Political Council President Mahdi al Mashat met with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in Sana’a city, Sana’a governorate on July 26. The two discussed UN negotiations over al Hudaydah port and the civil war.[3]

Emirati Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash condemned the al Houthi attacks on economic targets and Iran’s support to the al Houthi movement on July 26. He claimed the coalition was forced to intervene in Yemen to prevent Iran from creating another version of Hezbollah in the Arabian Peninsula.[4]

Hadi government Foreign Minister Khalid al Yamani claimed on July 27 that Yemen will take immediate action to counter al Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. Al Yamani said he would collaborate with the Kuwaiti UN mission to the UN Security Council to denounce the attack.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The Somali National Army (SNA) and South West State security forces conducted a joint operation against al Shabaab in southwestern Somalia on July 27. SNA and local forces attacked al Shabaab militants in Ufurow area, Bay region. Security forces killed six al Shabaab militants, including a senior leader, Mo’alim Derow. Derow oversaw al Shabaab’s checkpoints in Bay and Bakool regions.[6]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Burundian armored vehicle in Jalale village near Balad, Middle Shabelle region on July 27. Al Shabaab detonated another IED targeting a Burundian military vehicle in the same village earlier on July 27. Both explosions killed all of the soldiers aboard the vehicles.[7]

ISIS claimed to kill a policeman in Boosaaso, Puntland on July 27.[8]

Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan police vehicle in Milihoi area in Lamu County, Kenya on July 26. Al Shabaab militants killed one police officer and injured two others.[9]

Al Shabaab claimed killing four pro-government militia officers in Hodan and Hawl Wadag districts in Mogadishu on July 26.[10]

[1]“Saudi-led coalition renews strikes on Yemen's main port city,” Reuters, July 27, 2018,; “Yemen: IRC-supported health facility damaged overnight as the Saudi-led Coalition launches airstrikes in Hodeidah city,” IRC, July 27, 2017,; “Coalition party resumes airstrikes on Yemen’s main port city,” Middle East Monitor, July 27, 2018,; “Saudi-led raids target Yemen’s Hodeidah,” Al Jazeera, July 27, 2018,; “The Areal Aggression Targets al-Hudaydah Radio and Town Water Project,” Al Masirah Media Network, July 27 2018,; “Nine Saudi-led air attacks hit Hodeidah,” Saba News, July 27, 2018,; and “Aggression Targets Plastic Factory in Hodeidah,” Al Masirah Media Network,”
[2] “Readout of Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis' Meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi,” U.S. Department of Defense, July 27, 2018,
[3] “President, UN Envoy discuss humanitarian situation in Hodeidah,” Saba News, July 26, 2018,
[4] Dominic Dudley, “Houthi Attacks on Economic Targets Bring Yemen War Closer to Home for Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Forbes, July 27, 2018,; and Damien McElroy, “UAE’s Gargash warns Houthis over Yemen oil tanker attacks,” The National, July 26, 2018,
[5] “Yemen to Resort to the Security Council against Iran’s Militias,” Asharq al Awsat, July 27, 2018,; “Yemen foreign minister: we will confront Houthis’ maritime threats,” Al Arabiya, July 27, 2018,
[6] “Islamist leader, 5 others killed in Somalia fighting,” Mareeg, Twitter, July 27, 2018,; Mogadishu_News, Twitter, July 27, 2018,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 27, 2018,
[7] “Shabaab claims bombing Burundian military vehicles twice in same location on same day, killing 10 Somali soldiers near U.S. base,” SITE, July 27, 2018, available by subscription at
[8] Terror Monitor, Twitter, July 27, 2018,
[9] Rashma Rashid, “Police officer killed, others injured in Lamu Al Shabaab ambush,” Citizen Digital, July 26, 2018,; Radio Dalsan, Twitter, July 26, 2018,; and “Kenyan police officer killed, 2 injured in al-Shabab attack,” Xinhua, July 27, 2018,
[10] “Shabaab claims bombing Burundian military vehicles twice in same location on same day, killing 10 Somali soldiers near U.S. base,” SITE, July 27, 2018, available by subscription at; and Mogadishu_News, Twitter, July 26, 2018,

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