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 forces claim drone attack on Saudi airport; al Houthi forces claim advances in Najran region; President Hadi’s Foreign Minister resigns; AQAP claims attack on Emirati-backed Yemeni security forces in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab seizes town in Puntland; al Shabaab attacks SNA with IED in Lower Shabelle region; Kenyan government shuts down public transportation in northeast due to al Shabaab threat; UK opens SNA training base in Baidoa

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces claimed to attack Jizan regional airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia with multiple drones on June 9. The al Houthi movement claimed to target bunkers and other military facilities in the airport. The Saudi government did not comment on the alleged attack. The al Houthi movement has conducted multiple drone attacks against airports in southwestern Saudi Arabia since May.[1]

Al Houthi forces claimed to advance to within several kilometers of Najran city in southwestern Saudi Arabia on June 10. The al Houthi movement announced an offensive in Najran region on June 5 and claimed to capture 20 military sites in the region. Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government denied these claims and stated that there are no al Houthi forces in Saudi Arabia.[2]

President Hadi’s Foreign Minister Khalid al Yamani resigned on June 10. President Hadi appointed Yamani as Foreign Minister in May 2018.[3]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed to ambush Emirati-backed Yemeni security forces in Maswara in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on June 7. AQAP claimed to kill an officer in the attack. Suspected AQAP militants also detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Emirati-backed Shabwani Elite Forces in Markhah area in Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen on June 10. AQAP previously issued a statement warning of impending attacks on Shabwani Elite Forces on June 5.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants seized Af Urur town in the semi-autonomous Puntland region in northern Somalia on June 8. Al Shabaab militants seized the town after Puntland Security Forces withdrew from a nearby military base.[5]

Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting a Somali National Army (SNA) vehicle in Wanlaweyn district in Lower Shabelle region on June 10. The attack caused multiple casualties.[6]

The Kenyan government suspended public transportation in Mandera County, which borders Somalia, on June 9 in response to a terror threat from al Shabaab. Kenyan police stated that they had spotted al Shabaab militants traveling along a major road in the county. Al Shabaab has conducted multiple attacks in Mandera County in recent weeks.[7]

The UK’s embassy in Somalia opened a training facility for the SNA in Baidoa town, the capital of Bay region in southern Somalia, on June 8. The facility is expected to train up to 120 SNA soldiers at a time. Somali Federal Government Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire received a delegation of UK diplomats in the Somali capital Mogadishu a day after the opening ceremony for the base.[8]

[1] “Drone attacks target Jizan airport in Saudi Arabia-source,” Reuters, June 9, 2019,; and “For the fifth time.. Houthis announce the bombing of Jazan airport by aircraft,” Al Jazeera, June 9, 2019,السعودية-اليمن-الحوثيون-مطار-نجران-جازان.

[2] “Yemeni Defense Minister enters Saudi soil for first time, hails high morale of Yemen’s armed forces near Najran,” Fars News, June 10, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 7, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 7, 2019,

[3] “Yemeni FM resigns: Al Arabiya TV,” Egypt Today, June 10, 2019,; “URGENT: Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani resigns,” Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, June 10, 2019,; and “Appointing Ambassador Khalid Yamani as Minister of Foreign Affairs,” Al Arabiya, May 24, 2018,

[4] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, June 8, 2019,; and “URGENT: Explosive device explodes in Shabwani Elite group,” 7adramout, June 10, 2019,

[5] Mohamed Omar Ahmed, “Al-Shabaab captures Af-Urur town in Somalia’s Puntland region,” Bloomberg, June 8, 2019,; “Al-Shabab seizes base after Puntland troops pull out,” Garowe, June 10, 2019,; and “Al-Shabaab militants recapture another town,” Hiraan, June 10, 2019,

[6] “Al-Shabaab claims bomb attack in Lower Shabelle region,” Radio Shabelle, June 10, 2019,

[7] Manase Otsialo, “Terror threat: Public transport suspended in Mandera,” Daily Nation, June 9, 2019,

[8] “Somalia PM receives British delegation arrived in Mogadishu,” Garowe, June 10, 2019,; UK in Somalia, Twitter, June 8, 2019,; and UK in Somalia, Twitter, June 8, 2019,

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