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: Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Yemen following al Houthi missile attack; pro-Hadi forces kill al Houthi commander in Sa’ada governorate; STC Vice President criticizes Saudi-led coalition’s relationship with al Islah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab conducts IED attack in Garissa County; AMISOM forces capture al Shabaab operative in Lower Shabelle region; AFRICOM commander meets Djiboutian President

Yemen Security Brief

The Saudi-led coalition conducted multiple airstrikes on al Houthi positions around the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sana’a on June 13. The Saudi-led coalition conducted additional airstrikes in Dhamar and Sa’ada regions in central and northern Yemen on the same day. Saudi Arabia previously vowed to retaliate for an al Houthi missile attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia that injured 26 civilians on June 12.[1]

Yemeni soldiers aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi killed an al Houthi commander during clashes in Kitaf district in northern Sa’ada governorate in northern Yemen on June 10. Pro-Hadi forces identified the commander as Brigadier General Hamza Mohammed Ismail al Washli.[2]

Transitional Political Council for the South (STC) Vice President Hani bin Brik criticized the Saudi-led coalition for its support of the Islamist al Islah party during a speech on June 13. Bin Brik warned that the coalition’s continued support of al Islah would result in the coalition’s defeat in Yemen. The STC is an Emirati-backed southern Yemeni secessionist organization.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) vehicle near Garissa town in eastern Kenya on June 13. Al Shabaab claimed to destroy the vehicle and cause multiple KDF casualties.[4]

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces captured an al Shabaab operative in Beled Amin town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on June 11. The operative was planning IED attacks along highways in the area.[5]

The commander of United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM), General Thomas Waldhauser, met with Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh in the Djiboutian capital Djibouti City on June 12. The two discussed regional security and the development of the Djiboutian security forces. Djibouti hosts a US military base that houses approximately 4,500 soldiers.[6]

[1] “Air strikes hit around Yemen’s capital: TV, residents,” Reuters, June 13, 2019,; “In retaliation for the bombing of Abha airport.. The Saudi-UAE alliance strikes camps in Sanaa,” Al Jazeera, June 13, 2019,التحالف-السعودي-الإماراتي-معسكرات-بصنعاء-قصف-مطار-أبها-الحوثيين; and “Coalition Air launches a series of raids on Houthi targets in Sana’a and Dhamar,” News Yemen, June 13, 2019,

[2] “A senior Houthi leader was killed by army fire in Kataf, northeast of Saada,” Hadramout, June 13, 2019,

[3] “Ben Brik criticizes the Alliance’s support for the Reform Party,” Yemen Akhbar, June 13, 2019,

[4] “Kenyan troops hit by al Shabaab explosion,” Mareeg, June 13, 2019,

[5] “Al-Shabab operative nabbed in southern Somalia,” Garowe, June 13, 2019,

[6] “U.S. leaders, President Guelleh discuss U.S.-Djibouti partnerships in progress,” U.S. Africa Command, June 13, 2019,

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