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 delegations may extend peace talks for one week; Yemeni deputy prime minister says al Houthi-Saleh faction must be defeated militarily; al Houthi-Saleh forces shell Jazan city, Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia and Iran propagandize conflict in al Sarari, Taiz; Hadi government and popular resistance forces take control of mountains in Nihm, Sana’a governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants destroy telecommunications equipment and attack KDF convoy in Mandera County, Kenya; Somaliland forces demand voter participation in Sool region, northern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • The future of the Kuwait peace process remains in question. The delegations extended the peace talks for another week on July 28, according to a Saudi news outlet citing sources close to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Sky News Arabia outlet denied the extension of peace talks. Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al Jarallah issued an ultimatum on July 20 requiring President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s delegation and the al Houthi-GPC delegations to reach an agreement within 15 days or leave Kuwait.[1]
  • The Deputy Prime Minister to President Hadi, Abdulaziz al Jabari, stated on July 28 that the al Houthi-Saleh alliance will not obey a peace agreement until Hadi government forces defeat the al Houthi-Saleh alliance militarily. Al Jabari said that negotiating with the al Houthi-Saleh faction legitimizes the group and compared it to negotiating with Salafi-jihadi groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) or al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[2]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces fired mortars at Jazan city, Saudi Arabia on July 28, injuring at least two Saudi citizens. Al Houthi-Saleh forces launched missiles and mortars toward Saudi Arabia on July 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 and traded gunfire with Saudi border guards on July 25.[3]
  • Saudi and Iranian news sources are using the fight for al Sarari town in Taiz governorate as a propaganda tool. Popular resistance forces seized al Sarari, east of Mt. Sabir in Taiz governorate, from al Houthi-Saleh forces on July 26. Saudi news sources claimed that al Houthi-Saleh forces used al Sarari as a training camp for Iranian ideology. Iranian sources claimed that the popular resistance committed genocide against civilians in al Sarari.[4]
  • Hadi government and popular resistance forces seized Mt. Dhahir and Mt. Qadhaf following clashes with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Nihm district, east of Sana’a city. Al Houthi-Saleh forces claimed to target Yemeni government and popular resistance reinforcements entering Nihm from Ma’rib governorate with a Yemeni-made Zelzal-3 ballistic missile on July 27.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants destroyed telecommunications equipment in Fino town in Mandera County, Kenya on July 28, causing a local blackout. Militants then conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on the Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) convoy that responded to the attack on the telecommunications equipment. The militants attacked with small arms fire after the blast. Al Shabaab destroyed telecommunications equipment in Mandera County on June 25.[6]
  • Somaliland forces entered towns in Sool region, northern Somalia and ordered civilians to vote in the upcoming 2017 Somaliland elections on July 28. Somaliland is demanding voter participation in the contested Sool and Sanaag regions in order to strengthen its case for recognition by the international community. Somaliland troops clashed with Puntland forces in Sanaag region on July 18.[7]
[2] “Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Abdulaziz Jabari: the rebels will not bow for peace unless they are broken militarily,” al Masdar, July 28, 2016,
[4] “Sarari’s Liberation Reveals Iranian Training Centers,” al Sharq al Awsat, July 28, 2016,; “Iran Condemns Civilian Slaughter in Yemeni Village as Genocide,” Tasnim News Agency, July 27, 2016, source available upon request; and “Taiz: resistance takes control of al Sarari,” Barakish, July 26, 2016,
[5] "The national army and resistance seize the Dhafer and al Qadhaf mountains in Nihm east of Sana'a," al Masdar, July 28, 2016,; and “Dozens hirelings killed in missile attack east Mareb,” Sabanews, July 27, 2016,
[6]“Al-Shabaab militants destroy communication mast in Mandera, Kenya,” Goobjoog News, July 28, 2016,; and “Al-Shabaab destroys communication mast, in Mandera,” Shabelle News, July 28, 2016,  “Suspected al-Shabaab Militants Ambush Kenya Army convoy in North Eastern County of Mandera,” East Africa Daily, July 28, 2016,
[7] “Somaliland accused of invading Khatumo territory,” Shabelle News, July 28, 2016,
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