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 army chief of staff says brigade is ready for battle outside Sana’a as coalition airstrikes target al Houthi positions in the area; GPC leader denounces al Houthis for agreeing to relocation of ceasefire committee to Saudi Arabia; government and popular resistance forces continue to clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces at the 35th Brigade Base, Taiz; al Houthi-Saleh fighters clash with government forces in al Jawf; Hadi government spokesman claims al Houthis bombed three civilian homes in Sana’a governorate

Horn of Africa: Kenyan security officials kill suspected al Shabaab fighter in Msambweni, Kwale County, Kenya; AU official asks Somali citizens for help in the fight against al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • Major General Mohammad Ali al Maqdashi, the general chief of staff for the Yemeni Armed Forces, led Eid al Fitr prayers on July 6 in Furdat Nihm, east of Sana’a, in preparation for an impending offensive on Sana’a. He met with the 72nd Brigade stationed there and confirmed that the force is ready for battle, and is waiting the political directive to invade Sana’a. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi positions in neighboring Bani Hushaysh, Sana’a governorate on July 7. Airstrikes also targeted al Houthi positions in nearby Sirwah district, Ma’rib governorate.[1]
  • General People’s Congress (GPC) Deputy Secretary General and delegation member Yasser al Awadhi criticized the al Houthi delegation for accepting the relocation of the De-escalation and Cooperation Committee from Kuwait to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on June 30. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s delegation to the Kuwait talks announced the relocation on June 30. The Kuwait peace talks were suspended on June 29 and are scheduled to resume on July 15.[2]
  • Popular resistance forces repelled al Houthi advances towards the 35th Brigade Base in western Taiz city on July 6. Coalition airstrikes also targeted western Taiz city on July 6. This follows heavy clashes between al Houthi-Saleh forces and government and popular resistance forces on the 35th Brigade Base on June 30. The base remains highly contested as fighting continues across Taiz city.[3]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces continued to clash with popular resistance and government forces on July 6 in the Ham area of al Ghayl district, al Jawf governorate, killing at least seven al Houthi fighters and injuring others. The coalition conducted airstrikes on al Houthi-Saleh positions in the area.[4]
  • Abdul Latif al Murhabi, the official spokesman for Sana’a governorate aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, claimed that al Houthi-Saleh forces bombed three civilian homes in Sana’a. He added that these attacks prove that the al Houthis have no interest in peace or abiding by UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which mandates that the al Houthis withdraw from Sana’a.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan security forces killed a suspected al Shabaab member near Msambweni in Kwale County, Kenya on July 6. Security forces fired on Mohammed Tulia when he attacked the officials with a grenade. The Kenyan government had previously listed Tulia on its terror watch list.[6]
  • The African Union’s Special Representative to Somalia, Francisco Madeira, called on the Somali citizenry to assist in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism in the Horn of Africa on June 7. Madeira noted the success of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Army (SNA) in pushing al Shabaab from major urban centers in southern Somalia.[7]

[1] "Raids east of the capital Sanaa," Barakish, July 7, 2016,; and “In a strong message .. al Maqdashi led Eid al-Fitr prayers in Furdhat Nihm,” Barakish, July 7, 2016,
[2] "Leader of the deposed Saleh party attacks the al Houthi delegation due to his visit to Saudi Arabia," Akhbar al Yemen, July 7, 2016,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review - June 30, 2016,” Critical Threats Project, June 30, 2016,
[3] "Resistance fails attack on 35th brigade in Taiz," Barakish, July 6, 2016,; and “Saudi-led airstrikes target neighborhoods in Taiz,” Sabanews, July 6, 2016,;
[4] "Fierce battles in al Jawf with the participation of warplanes and fall of casualties from the Houthis," Al Masdar, July 7, 2016,
[5] “Militias bombed three houses in Sana'a governorate and committed 16 violations of the ceasefire,” Saba Net, July 7, 2016,
[6] Farouk Mwabege, “Police gun down terror suspect in Msambweni,” Daily Nation, July 6, 2016,
[7] “AU envoy calls Somalis work with AU and SNA forces in efforts to flush out Al-Shabaab,” Goobjoog News, July 7, 2016,
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