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: UAE begins Operation Golden Victory to seize al Hudaydah port; security forces disrupt AQAP attack in al Mukalla city, Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Qansahdhere town, Bay region; al Shabaab ambushes qat shipment in Lower Shabelle region; Somaliland and Puntland release contradictory statements on peace talks

Yemen Security Brief

The UAE began Operation Golden Victory to seize al Hudaydah port along Yemen’s Red Sea coast on June 12 (June 13 local time). Two thousand Emirati-trained Yemeni troops deployed from Eritrea to al Hudaydah to assist with the operation. Al Houthi forces claimed to destroy a Saudi-led coalition warship off the coast of al Hudaydah on June 13. UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths condemned military action in al Hudaydah and emphasized that his office is dedicated to reaching a political settlement for the port in a June 13 press release. The Hadi government announced the start of the operation on June 13 after claiming to “exhaust all peaceful and political means.” Four Emirati soldiers died in Yemen on June 13, according to Emirati state-run news. The report did not specify where or how the troops died.[1]

Security forces disrupted a planned al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attack in al Mukalla city, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen on June 12. The security forces seized explosive devices and various munitions during a raid on a mausoleum in Hala area, western al Mukalla city, eastern Yemen. Hadramawt Governor Major General Faraj al Bahsani said that AQAP militants planned to use the explosives for an attack at the end of Ramadan.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military base containing both Somali and Ethiopian troops in Qansahdhere town, Bay region, southern Somalia on June 12. Al Shabaab killed two soldiers in the attack.[3]

Al Shabaab militants ambushed a vehicle carrying qat near Golweyn town in Lower Shabelle region, southwest of Mogadishu, on June 13. The vehicle was traveling toward Janale town, an al Shabaab-controlled area where the group has banned qat consumption. Al Shabaab burned the vehicle, killing four people.[4]

Somaliland Foreign Minister Said Saeed Ali Shire stated that Somaliland is ready to begin peace talks with the Puntland administration on June 13. This statement came after several clashes between Somaliland and Puntland forces in the disputed Sool region in recent months. The Puntland administration denied the statement on June 13. The Puntland information minister claimed that the statement from Somaliland was false and said that Puntland is committed to defending the Sool region.[5]

[1] “Yemen War: Saudi-backed forces begin assault on Hudaydah port,” BBC, June 13, 2018,; “Arab states launch biggest assault of Yemen war with attack on main port,” Mohammed Ghobari and Mohamed Mokhashef, Reuters,; “Yemeni forces destroy UAE warship in Hudaydah,” Tasnim News, June 13, 2018,; “The President calls for a military campaign to liberate al Hudaydah and save its residents from a catastrophic humanitarian crisis,” Sabanew, June 13, 2018,; “UAE announces the death of four of its soliders in Yemen,” Yemen Monitor,; “Four UAE soldiers killed in assault on Yemen's Hudaida,” Al Jazeera, June 13, 2018,; “Statement by the Special Envoy on the situation in Hudaydah,” OSESGY, June 13, 2018,; and “Saudi-led forces begin assault on Yemen port city of Hodeida,” Job Gambrell, Associated Press, June 13, 2018, 
[2] “The army foils a large terrorist attack discovered in al Mukalla in Hadramawt,” Al Wattan, June 13, 2018,
[3] Two government soldiers died in yet another al Shabaab attack on military base in Qansahdhere town, Harun Maruf, Twitter, June 13,; Two soldiers killed in an attack on military base in Qansaxdhere town, Mogadishu News, Twitter, June 13, 2018,
[4] John Snow, “Islamists burn vehicle ferrying Miraa in Somalia,” Mareeg, June 13,2018,; and Al Shabaab fighters intercepted a vehicle ferrying Miraa and burned down near Golweyn, Mogadishu News, Twitter, June 13, 2018,
View Citations

[5] “Somaliland ready for peace talk with Puntland,”Goobjoog, June 13, 2018,; and “Puntland denies the peace talks with Somaliland,” Goobjoog, June 13, 2018,


Arrow down red
Jul '18
Jun '18
May '18