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: AQAP conducts two drone attacks targeting Shabwani Defense Force posts in southern Yemen; AQAP claims IED attack targeting STC-backed forces in southern Yemen; US special envoy to Yemen meets with Yemeni leaders
Somalia: US AFRICOM commander meets with political and military leaders in two-day tour of Somalia; SNA ambushes al Shabaab vehicle in north-central Somalia; al Shabaab executes five suspected spies in southern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed a June 12 drone attack targeting a Shabwani Defense Forces 1st Brigade post in al Musayniah, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on June 14.[i] AQAP published photos of the drone dropping and detonating explosives on the post. AQAP targeted the same post in a direct-fire attack on June 10 and another drone attack on May 16.[ii]
AQAP conducted a drone attack targeting the Shabwani Defense Forces in al Musayniah, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on June 14.[iii] AQAP claimed the attack wounded four soldiers and published two photos showing the drone dropping and detonating explosives. The attack targeted a different post in al Musayniah than AQAP’s June 12 drone attack.
AQAP claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device targeting a water tanker from Southern Transitional Council–backed forces in Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on June 14.[iv] AQAP published two before-and-after pictures showing the damaged vehicle.
US Special Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking met separately with Yemeni president Rashad al Alimi and Presidential Leadership Council member Maj. Gen. Sultan al Arada on June 14.[v] Lenderking discussed ongoing truce negotiations and wider humanitarian and peace initiatives in both meetings, including efforts to re-open Hudaydah port and the Sana’a airport.
Somalia Security Brief
US Africa Commander Gen. Michael Langley traveled to Somalia to meet with military and political leaders from June 13–14.[vi] Gen. Langley met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Somali defense minister, the Somali National Army (SNA) head, and an African Union delegation in separate meetings in Mogadishu to discuss counterterrorism efforts on June 13.[vii] Gen. Langley then traveled to Kismayo, Lower Jubba region, on June 14, where he met with the Jubbaland State president, US-trained Danab force officers, and US troops embedded with the Danab forces.[viii]
An SNA patrol ambushed an al Shabaab vehicle near Gal’ad, El Dheere district, Galgudud region, north-central Somalia, on June 15.[ix] The attack killed three militants.
Al Shabaab executed five people accused of spying in Qunyo Barrow, Jamame district, Middle Jubba region, southern Somalia, on June 15.[x]
[ii] Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 13, 2023,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 13, 2023, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-13-2023; Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 24, 2023,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 24, 2023, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-24-2023.
[iii] Al Mahra Post, “Transitional Soldiers Killed in an Attack on a security Point in Shabwa,” June 14, 2023, https://almahrahpost.com/news/38195; SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Claims Wounding 4 from Shabwa Defense Forces in Weaponized UAV Strike,” June 15, 2023, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[v] Al Thawra, “Al Arada discusses with the US envoy efforts to launch a comprehensive peace process in Yemen,” June 14, 2023, https://althawra-news.net/news125632.html; Al Mashad al Yemeni, “After al Arada’s statements regarding Hudaydah port and Sana’a airport, President al Alimi presents to the American mediator the recent Houthi escalation,” June 14, 2023, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/257099.
[vi] US AFRICOM, “Gen. Langley visits Somalia and Kenya,” June 14, 2023, https://www.africom.mil/pressrelease/35216/gen-langley-visits-somalia-and-kenya.
[vii] US AFRICOM, “Gen. Langley visits Somalia and Kenya;” Somali National TV, @sntvnews1, Twitter, June 13, 2023, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1668690244336492569?s=20; Horseed Media, “The commander of the XDS and the Africom command discussed the fight against Al-Shabaab,” June 14, 2023, https://horseedmedia.net/taliyayaash-iyo-africom-oo-ka-wada-hadlay-dar-dar-gelinta-la-dagaallanka-shabaab-379842.
[viii] US AFRICOM, “Gen. Langley visits Somalia and Kenya;” Radio Dalsan, “Ahmed Madobe who spoke to AFRICOM about the 2nd phase of the fight against AS,” June 14, 2023, https://www.radiodalsan.com/axmed-madoobe-oo-africom-kala-wareegay-wejiga-2-aad-ee-la-dagaalanka-as.
[ix] SONNA, “Somali National Army Kills 3 al Shabaab terrorists,” June 15, 2023, https://sonna.so/en/somali-national-army-kills-3-al-shabaab-terrorists.
[x] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, June 16, 2023, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1669571734016520193?s=20.