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: President Hadi returns to Yemen for the first time in over a year and a half; Emirati-backed Yemeni troops push to capture al Hudaydah airport; al Houthi forces fire ballistic missile towards Khamis Mushayt city, Asir region, Saudi Arabia; AQAP militants attack al Hizam Security Forces checkpoint in al Wade’a district, Abyan governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab targets officials and security post in Mogadishu; Puntland increases security amid reports of planned al Shabaab attack in Garowe town

Yemen Security Brief

Yemen President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi returned to the temporary capital Aden, southern Yemen on June 14 in his first visit to Yemen in over a year and a half. Hadi returned to Aden to supervise the Emirati-led operation to seize al Hudaydah port city, according to a Yemeni government press release. Hadi returned to Aden after meeting with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan in the UAE on June 12.[1]

Emirati-backed Yemeni troops made a push capture al Hudaydah Airport from al Houthi forces just south of al Hudaydah port city, western Yemen on June 14. An Emirati official claimed Operation Golden Victory had advanced within five miles of al Hudaydah Airport, though Emirati-backed forces have been contesting this area for several days now. The UAE began Operation Golden Victory to capture al Hudaydah Port from the al Houthi movement on June 14. An al Houthi movement spokesperson stated al Houthi forces will not surrender al Hudaydah Port and accused the UN of being biased in favor of Saudi Arabia, according to the BBC. Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al Yemeni announced the “door for diplomacy with al Houthis is completely closed” on June 14. The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the current situation in Yemen on June 14. The United Kingdom requested the emergency meeting. [2]

Al Houthi forces fired a ballistic missile towards Khamis Mushayt city, Asir region, southwestern Saudi Arabia on June 14. Saudi air defense systems intercepted the missile after it was fired from Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen, according to Saudi-led coalition Spokesperson Colonel Turki al Maliki.[3]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) conducted a complex attack on an al Hizam Security Forces checkpoint and base killing three soldiers in al Wade’a district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on June 14. AQAP detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) next to an al Hizam checkpoint then AQAP militants attacked a nearby security headquarters with small arms.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants assassinated an electoral delegate in Dharkeynley district, Banadir region near Mogadishu on June 14. Al Shabaab militants assassinated a Howlwadaag district official in Banadir region on June 14. Separately, al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali security outpost on in the Huriwa district, Banadir region on June 13.[5]

Al Shabaab planned an attack using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in Garowe town, Nugaal region, northeastern Somalia, according to intelligence reports. Puntland security agencies are on high alert after they received credible intelligence of the planned attack.[6]

[1] “President of the Republic arrives in the temporary capital Aden to oversee the liberation of Hodeidah,” Official Website of the President of the Republic of Yemen, June 14, 2018,; and “Learn what President Hadi said when he arrived to Yemen” Al Watan, June 14, 2018,
[2] “UNSC to hold emergency session amid assault on Yemen's Hudaida,” Al Jazeera, June 14, 2018,; “UNSC ‘closed’ session called over Saudi-led attack on Hudaydah,” Middle East Monitor, June 14, 2018,; “Yemeni Foreign Minister tells the Middle East “the door for dipolomacy with al Houthis is closed,” Al Aawsat, June 14, 2018,;  Leith Aboufadel, “Gulf-backed troops make serious push to seize Hodeideh Airport,” Al Masdar News, June 14, 2018,; Ramadan Al Sherbini, “Yemeni forces close in on Hodeida airport,” Gulf News, June 14, 2018,; Patrick Wintour, “Pro-government forces 'breach defences' at crucial Yemen port,” The Guardian, June 14, 2018,; and Frank Gardner, Twitter, June 13, 2018,
[3] “Saudi Air Defense intercepts a missile fired by Houthi militias over Khamis Mushayt,” Arab News, June 14, 2018,; and “Saudi defenses intercept a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi militia towards Khamis Mushait,” Saba Net, June 14, 2018,  
[4] “Many were killed and injured due to a car bombing in Abyan," Brakesh News, June 14, 2018,
ttp://; and “A suicide car bomb in Abyan governorate targeted al Hizam security,” Marebpress, June 14, 2018,
[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, June 14, 2018,;  “Gunmen carry out assassinations in Mogadishu,” Radio Shabelle, June 14, 2018,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, June 13, 2018,
[6] Goldberg, “Puntland forces put on high alert to avert imminent attacks by al shabaab,” Intelligence Briefs, June 14, 2018,

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