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: Emirati aircraft bomb al Houthi forces inside al Hudaydah Airport; UN Special Envoy for Yemen meets with al Houthi leaders to negotiate al Hudaydah withdrawal; Saudi troops attack al Houthi forces in the Asir region, Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab IED strikes Kenyan police vehicle in Wajir county, northeastern Kenya; Kenyan Defense Force launch airstrikes on al Shabaab hideout in El Adde town, Gedo region, southern Somalia; Ethiopian prime minister and Somali president agree to joint investment on four Somali ports; ISIS fighters detonate IED in Daynile district, Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

Emirati aircrafts bombed al Houthi forces inside al Hudaydah Airport and in al Manzar neighborhood, southwest of al Hudaydah Airport on June 18. Emirati-backed forces fought their way onto the airport’s grounds on June 16, according to a spokesman for the Republican Guard. Al Houthi forces denied that Emirati-backed forces seized any part of the airport on June 16.  Emirati-backed Giants Brigades also moved towards eastern al Hudaydah Governorate to try to cut off the main road that links al Hudaydah to Sana’a between June 15 and 17.[1] 

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths requested al Houthi forces withdraw from al Hudaydah and leave the port under UN supervision during talks with al Houthi leaders in the capital Sana’a, Yemen on June 16 and 17. He did not reach an agreement with the al Houthi leaders, who requested more time to review the proposal. Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash stated that the UAE will only accept an unconditional al Houthi withdrawal from al Hudaydah port at a press conference in Dubai on June 18. Gargash stated that the time for negotiations over al Hudaydah was a year ago and the only solution now involves Yemeni-Yemeni dialogues and cooperation to prevent deeper Iranian involvement in Yemen. Griffiths will meet with the UN Security Council in a closed session on June 18 to review the Yemeni peace plan.[2]

Saudi troops attacked al Houthi forces in Asir region, Saudi Arabia on June 17. Al Houthi forces shelled Saudi troops in response. Al Houthi forces seized and destroyed two armored personnel carriers (APC) from Saudi troops during the clashes. Al Houthi forces also claimed to hit a Saudi military target with a Zilzal 2 ballistic missile in Asir region on June 18.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab detonated a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (RCIED) that struck a Kenyan police vehicle in Bojigaras area, Wajir county, northeastern Kenya, bordering Somalia on June 17. Al Shabaab militants fired at the wounded security personnel after the RCIED exploded. The attack killed five administration police and three police reservists. Al Shabaab claimed to have killed 38 people in the attack. Al Shabaab also released a video for Eid al Fitr documenting multiple attacks in Kenya.[4]

Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) fighter jets launched airstrikes on El Adde town, Gedo region, southern Somalia on June 17. The strikes targeted an al Shabaab hideout in the Hareri and Gadon areas, El Adde town. The airstrikes injured five people. Kenyan military officials have not commented on the airstrikes.[5] 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in Mogadishu on June 16. The two leaders agreed on joint investments in four Somali ports. Somalia and Ethiopia will invest in infrastructure and roads to link the two countries. The Ethiopian prime minister and Somali President also discussed joint efforts to fight terrorism in the region. [6]

ISIS militants detonated an IED that killed four government soldiers and wounded five others in Daynile district, Mogadishu on June 15. ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency claimed the attack.[7]

[1] Ahmed Al-Haj, “Fighting rages around airport in Yemen port city of Hodeida,” Associated Press, June 18, 2018,; “Yemen war: Government troops ‘capture Hudaydah airport,’” BBC, June 16, 2018,; Mohammed Ghobari, “Arab coalition bombs Houthis at Hodeidah airport, urges them to withdraw,” Reuters, June 18, 2018,;“Yemen: Pro-government fighters advance on al Hudaydah airport June 15,” Garda, June 15, 2018,; and Mohammed Ghobari and Mohamed Mokhashef, “Arab forces seize entrances to airport in Yemen’s main port city,” Reuters, June 15, 2018,

[2] “UN envoy in Yemen for emergency talks on Hodeidah crisis,” Middle East Eye, June 16, 2018,; “UN envoy to update Security Council on Yemen Plan during closed session,” Al Arabiya, June 18, 2018,; “UN envoy in Yemen for crisis talks over Hudaida port,” Al Jazeera, June 16, 2018,; “UAE demands unconditional rebel withdrawal from Yemen port,” Yahoo, June 18, 2018,; and “War in Yemen is at a turning point: UAE Minister,” Gulf News, June 18, 2018,

[3]  Leith Aboufadel, “Saudi Army offensive near Yemen border ends in disaster as Houthi forces swarm area (video),” Al Masdar News, June 18, 2018,; and “Yemeni army fired 'Zilizal 2' missiles on Saudi’s gatherings in Asir,” Ahlulbayt News, June 18, 2018,

[4] “8 Security Personnel Killed After their Vehicle Hit an IED in Bojigaras Area, Wajir County,” The Standard, June 17, 2018,; “Wajir attack killed 8 Kenyan security officers,” Goobjoog, June 18, 2018,; “Several Kenya police officers killed in new IED explosions in Wajir, northeast Kenya,”Harun Maruf, Twitter, June 17, 2018,; David Goldman, “IED kills 8 security personnel in Boji-Garas area of Wajir prefecture in NEP Kenya,” Intelligence Briefs, June 17, 2018,; “Shabaab claims attack in Kenya’s Wajir county resulted in 38 casualties,” SITE, June 18, 2018, available by subscription at; and “Shabaab documents multiple attacks in Kenya in video for Eid Al-Fitr 2018, identifies British foreign fighter among slain members,”SITE, June 18, 2018, available by subscription at

[5] “Kenyan warplanes hit Somalia,” Mareeg, June 17, 2018,; and “Suspected KDF Fighter Jets Carry Out Airstrike in Southern Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, June 17, 2018,

[6] Harun Maruf, “Ethiopia, Somalia agree to strengthen ‘brotherly’ relations,” VOA, June 16, 2018,;“Ethiopia seeks to legitimise port deals with Somalia,” Daily Nation, June 16, 2018,; “Ethiopia, Somalia call for joint efforts to fight terrorism,” Xinhua, June 16, 2018,; and “Somalia, Ethiopia agree to invest in 4 seaports,” Mareeg, June 16, 2018,

[7] “ISIL group claims explosion in Somali capital,” Mareeg, June 17, 2018,; “Islamic State claims killing 4 policemen in Daynile Neighborhood of Mogadishu,” Terror Monitor, June 16, 2018,; and “IS Claims 3 Attacks in Somalia in 3 Consecutive Days,” SITE, June 15, 2018, available by subscription at




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