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: An unidentified militant attacked al Islah’s offices in southern Yemen; Hezbollah secretary-general says Hezbollah will not mediate in Yemen

Somalia: Ethiopian security forces repel an al Shabaab attack near the Ethiopian border with central Somalia; al Shabaab advanced unopposed over 60 miles into Ethiopia’s Somali region; Ethiopian forces launch counteroffensive against remaining al Shabaab militants in Ethiopia; likely joint US-Danab operation clears al Shabaab base in southern Somalia; al Shabaab suicide attack kills mayor in southern Somalia; al Shabaab bomb-makers killed in accidental VBIED explosion in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

An unidentified militant attacked the al Islah party’s offices in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, with a hand grenade on July 26.[i] An al Islah official later confirmed the attack did not cause any casualties or damage and condemned the attack as a “cowardly terrorist act.”[ii]

Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Lebanese Hezbollah would not mediate between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an interview with Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV on July 25.[iii] Nasrallah said Hezbollah supported Iran’s position that the Houthis should not offer any concessions in negotiations.

Somalia Security Brief:

Ethiopian forces repelled an al Shabaab attempt to cross the Ehtiopian-Somali border in Las Qurun near the border town Ferfer on July 25.[iv] Ethiopian officials on July 26 claimed Somali region Liyu paramilitary police killed at least 85 militants and captured others.[v]

A group of al Shabaab fighters advanced at least 60 miles into Ethiopia without encountering Ethiopian security forces as of July 27.[vi] The fighters crossed into Ethiopia at the beginning of the al Shabaab offensive into Ethiopia on July 20. The governor of Somalia’s Bakool region told Voice of America the fighters are between Qallafo and Gode in Ethiopia’s Somali region. An anonymous Ethiopian official confirmed the governor’s claim.

Ethiopian forces launched an operation to cut off remaining al Shabaab militants in southeastern Ethiopia’s Somali region on July 26.[vii] A military official described the effort as coordinated measures to “clean up” cut off al Shabaab militants.

US-trained Danab forces cleared al Shabaab camps in Toratorow, Wanlaweyn district, Lower Shabelle, southern Somalia, on July 25. Likely US aircraft supported the Danab forces. Locals claim “warplanes” fired several missiles targeting the al Shabaab camps followed by Danab landings.[viii] The Danab reportedly killed at least 20 al Shabaab militants.[ix] Somali government media claimed the Danab forces destroyed al Shabaab hideouts and offices.[x] United States Africa Command has not released a statement about drone operations.

An al Shabaab fighter detonated suicide, assassinating the Marka district commissioner in Marka, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on July 27.[xi] The bomber killed at least 10 other bodyguards and civilians.[xii]

An accidental explosion killed two al Shabaab fighters making a vehicle-borne IED in Mogadishu’s Dharkenly district on July 27.[xiii]

[i] YPA, “Urgent… a violent explosion targets the headquarters of the Islah Party in Shabwah,” July 26, 2022,

[ii] Mahra Post, “Shabwah… Islah Party confirms that its headquarters were exposed to a ‘cowardly terrorist act,’” July 27, 2022,

[iii] Al Mayadeen, “Sayyid Nasrallah in the ‘Arbaeen Dialogue:’ Our precision missiles hit all Israeli targets, land and sea,” July 25, 2022,

[iv] Shabelle Media, “Liyu police clash with Al-Shabaab on the border,” July 25, 2022,

[v] Reuters, “Ethiopia forces kill 85 al Shabaab fighters near Somalia, state TV and commander say,” July 26, 2022,

[vi] Harun Maruf, “Why Did Al-Shabab Attack Inside Ethiopia?,” Voice of America, July 26, 2022,

[vii] Addis Standard, “News update: Ethiopia army general says joint military operation underway “to clean up” Al-Shabaab infiltration on five frontiers,” July 26, 2022,

[viii] Horseed Media, “Warplanes attacked the Tooratoorow area in Lower Shabelle,” July 26, 2022,

[ix] Keydmedia, “US-assisted raid on Al-Shabaab stronghold kills 20 militants,” July 26, 2022,

[x] @SonnaLive, Twitter, July 26, 2022,

[xi] SONNA, “Suicide bomb attack kills over a dozen in lower Shabelle region,” July 27, 2022,

[xii] Mareeg News, “11 people killed in Somalia suicide explosion,” July 27, 2022,  

[xiii] Ibid.

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