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 missile strike injures 26 civilians at Saudi airport; al Houthi forces claim to kill 23 Saudi and Yemeni soldiers in border areas; unidentified militants blow up pipeline in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Somali Danab special forces conduct operation near Kismayo; AFRICOM commander and US Ambassador to Somalia meet with SFG officials in Mogadishu; AMISOM launches police recruitment drive in Lower Shabelle

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement fired a missile at Abha International Airport, which is located approximately 110 kilometers from the Yemeni border in southwestern Saudi Arabia, on June 12. The attack injured 26 civilians, including women and children, according to Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al Maliki. Al Houthi media claimed that the attack was the group’s second cruise missile strike ever, but this is unconfirmed. Maliki accused the al Houthi movement of committing a war crime and announced a coalition investigation into the attack. The al Houthi movement has attacked airports in southern Saudi Arabia with drones in recent weeks, but this is the first attack to injure civilians.[1]

Al Houthi forces claimed to kill 23 Saudi soldiers and Yemeni soldiers aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in southwestern Saudi Arabia on June 12. The al Houthi movement claimed that al Houthi snipers killed the soldiers in areas near the Yemeni border in Jizan, Asir, and Najran regions. Al Houthi forces announced a new series of operations in the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border region in early June.[2]

Unidentified militants blew up an oil pipeline in Rudum district in southern Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen on June 11. The attack occurred near a military position occupied by the Emirati-backed Shabwani Elite Forces.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Danab special forces conducted an operation against al Shabaab in Arare village near Kismayo, a Somali port city and the capital of Somalia’s Jubbaland state, on June 12. Danab forces claimed to kill multiple al Shabaab militants.[4]

The commander of United States Africa Command (US AFIRCOM), General Thomas Waldhauser, and US Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto met with senior Somali Federal Government (SFG) officials in the Somali capital Mogadishu on June 11. Waldhauser expressed confidence in the capabilities of SFG security forces during a meeting with SFG Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.[5]

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) launched a recruitment drive for Somali police forces in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on June 11. AMISOM plans to deploy new officers to towns in Lower Shabelle that AMISOM and Somali National Army forces recently liberated from al Shabaab.[6]

[1] “Yemen war: Houthi missile attack on Saudi airport ‘injures 26’,” BBC, June 12, 2019,; and “Yemen’s Houthis strike Saudi airport, coalition vows to retaliate,” Reuters, June 12, 2019,

[2] “Houthis announce the killing of 23 Saudi and Yemeni soldiers in sniper operations on the border,” Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, June 12, 2019,; and “Houthi spokesman announces control of more than 20 military sites in the Najran axis,” Al Mawqea, June 5, 2019,

[3] “Unknown people blow up oil pipeline in Shabwa province,” Hadramout, June 12, 2019,

[4] “Somali especial forces raid on al Shabaab,” Mareeg, June 12, 2019,

[5] US AFRICOM, Twitter, June 12, 2019,; “US, Somalia discuss war on al Shabaab,” Mareeg, June 12, 2019,; “AFRICOM upbeat on Somali army, says support paying off,” Goobjoog, June 12, 2019,

[6] “AMISOM intensifies recruitment of police officers to secure liberated areas,” Xinhua, June 12, 2019,

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