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: Al Houthi movement holds weapons exhibition in Sana’a; Saudi-led coalition downs al Houthi drone near Saudi airspace

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab executes suspected spies in southern Somalia; al Shabaab conducts VBIED attack in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement hosted an exhibition of new weapons systems in the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on July 7. The exhibition featured missiles and drones used in recent al Houthi attacks on airports in southern Arabia. The al Houthi movement displayed a new surface-to-air missile   named the Quds 1 during the exhibition. Al Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea promised to share details about the Quds 1’s capabilities at an upcoming press conference.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition shot down an al Houthi drone near Saudi airspace on July 6. This was the seventh attempted al Houthi drone attack on Saudi Arabia since June 29. The al Houthi movement previously announced a second phase of drone attacks on July 2 that would target additional sites in Saudi Arabia.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants executed 13 individuals in southern Somalia between July 4 and July 7. Al Shabaab executed the individuals during separate trials in Lower Jubba region, Middle Jubba region, and Lower Shabelle region. The majority of the victims were accused of being spies for US, Kenyan, and Somali Federal Government intelligence services.[3]

Al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in the Hodan district of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on July 8. The explosion killed two civilians and injured three Somali National Army soldiers. Somali police separately clashed with suspected al Shabaab militants at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu on July 8. Two militants and one policeman died in the clash.[4]

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[1] “Displaying new weapons in the President Samad Martyr exhibit of Yemen’s Military Industry,” al Masirah, July 7, 2019,; and Tobias Schneider, Twitter, July 7, 2019,

[2] “Command of the Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Coalition Forces intercept, down drones launched by the Houthi terrorist militia from Sanaa province towards the kingdom's territories,” Saudi Press Agency, July 6, 2019,; and
“The Arab Coalition downs drone launched by the Houthis,” Sky News Arabic, July 6, 2019,

[3] Harun Maruf, “Al Shabaab kills 18 in surge of executions,” Voice of America, July 8, 2019,; and “Somalia’s al Shabaab stones man to death for raping,” Mareeg, July 8, 2019,

[4] “Death toll from Mogadishu car bombing rises to at least three,” Radio Shabelle, July 8, 2019,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 8, 2019,; “Somali Police intercepted car bomb in Mogadishu,” Mareeg, July 8, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, July 8, 2019,

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