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-backed forces seize majority of al Hudaydah Airport; Iranian President tells Qatari Emir military approach in Yemen will fail

Horn of Africa: U.S. forces capture militants at al Shabaab intelligence headquarters in Awdheegle, Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants attack Somali forces in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

Emirati and Emirati-backed troops seized the majority of al Hudaydah Airport on the outskirts of al Hudaydah port city, western Yemen on June 19.  A commander of the Emirati-backed Yemeni National Resistance Forces Abu Zarah al Mahrami reported that Emirati-backed forces are still pursuing small groups of al Houthi forces inside the airport. Al Hudaydah Airport is approximately eight miles from al Hudaydah Port.[1]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani that a military approach in Yemen will fail during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey on June 18. Rouhani told al Thani that the crisis in Yemen should be solved through negotiations.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) troops raided an al Shabaab intelligence headquarters in Awdheegle town, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia. The U.S. forces killed two al Shabaab members and captured seven commanders in the attack.[3]

Al Shabaab militants attacked the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland military forces in Sanguni, Kismayo district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia on June 19. The Somali military forces killed seven al Shabaab militants in the fight. The al Shabaab attack injured five Somali officers. The attack occurred at the same location as the June 8 al Shabaab attack that killed one American serviceman and wounded four others. Somali and Kenyan forces supported by U.S. advisors were establishing a combat outpost at Sanguni at the time of the June 8 attack.[4]

[1] “Saudi, UAE coalition enters airport compound of Yemen's Hudaida,” Al Jazeera, June 19, 2018,; “Commander declares control of al Hudaydah Airport,” Hadramawt net, June 19, 2018,; “Yemen: Government forces storm Hodeida airport,” Deutsche Welle, June 19, 2018,; and “Coalition forces take over Hodeida airport,” Gulf News, June 19, 2018,
[2] “Iran's Rouhani says military approach will fail in Yemen: State TV,” Reuters, June 18, 2018,
[3] David Goldman, “United States Revenges Bar-Sanguni at Awdheegle. Airborne Commando’s Capture Al Shabaab Intelligence Commanders,” Intelligence Briefs, June 19, 2018,; and “Foreign Forces raid kills 2 people in Somalia,” Mareeg, June 18, 2018,
[4] “Seven militants killed in fighting outside Kismayo,” Mareeg, June 19, 2018,; “Somali military claims to have killed 7 al Shabaab fighters in fighting near Kismayo town,” Live from Somalia, Twitter, June 19, 2018,; and Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, “Quick Evacuation in Somalia Firefight Shows Disparity in U.S. Resources in Africa,” New York Times, June 10, 2018,
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