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: Hadi government force leader dies during clashes with al Houthis in Sana’a governorate; Hadi government forces claim attacking al Houthi militants in al Jawf governorate; STC forces claim control of Hadi government building in Socotra capital; al Houthis claim advancing in Ma’rib city; al Houthi militants attack tribal forces in al Bayda governorate

Horn of Africa: Unclaimed IED attack kills at least four civilians in Mogadishu; SNA and AMISOM forces kill al Shabaab militants in central Somalia; Kenya secures UNSC seat

Yemen Security Brief:

A military leader aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and three other officers died during clashes with al Houthi militants in Nihm district in northern Yemen’s Sana’a governorate. Hadi government forces reportedly captured several areas in Nihm district in early June.[1]

Hadi government forces claimed attacking al Houthi militants in Khub wa al Shaf district in northern Yemen’s al Jawf governorate on June 19. Hadi government forces and al Houthi militants reportedly clashed in al Jawf governorate on June 17.[2]

Forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) reportedly took control of a Hadi government security building in Hidaybu, the capital of Socotra island, off Yemen’s southern coast on June 19. Hidaybu has been under Hadi government control and STC forces reportedly attacked the capital on June 16.[3]

Al Houthi militants reportedly announced advancing toward Ma’rib city in northern Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate over mosque loudspeakers in al Hazm city, the capital of al Jawf governorate, on June 17. Hadi government forces captured territory from al Houthi militants in Ma’rib governorate’s Sirwah district with Saudi-led coalition air support on June 11.[4]

The al Houthi movement reportedly took control of Radman al Awad district in southern Yemen’s al Bayda governorate from local tribes on June 19. Al Houthi militants launched artillery and missile attacks targeting tribal forces in Radman al Awad district on June 17.[5]

 Horn of Africa Security Brief:

An unclaimed roadside improvised explosive device (IED) targeted Somali National Army vehicles in Hodan district in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on June 18, killing four civilians. Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency warned on June 13 that al Shabaab is planning targeted assassinations of humanitarian workers, clerics, and security officials in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab previously claimed responsibility for an IED attack that killed a senior Somali police officer in Mogadishu in late May.[6]

SNA and African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces killed seven al Shabaab militants near Beledweyne town in central Somalia’s Hiraan region on June 17. A SNA commander reported that the attack was in response to al Shabaab mortar attacks on AMISOM forces near the town. SNA and AMISOM forces seized a village near Beledweyne in mid-June.[7]

Kenya secured a seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member on June 18. Kenya and Djibouti competed for this final UNSC seat during a second round of voting on the same day after both sides failed to secure the required two-thirds majority on June 17. Kenya previously held a seat as a non-permanent member of the UNSC between 1997-1998.[8]

[1] “A senior military commander and 3 officers are killed in recent battles against the Houthi militia,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, June 19, 2020,; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 8, 2020,

[2] “The Yemeni army launches a hollow attack and defeats the Houthis in Ma’rib,” 7adramout, June 19, 2020,; and “Destruction of a missile system in Marib .. and fighting between the army and militias in al-Jawf Junction,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, June 17, 2020,

[3] “Yemen: UAE-backed forces take control of Socotra Security Directorate,” Middle East Monitor, June 19, 2020,; “Violent clashes between Hadi and the transitional forces in Socotra,” Alalam TV, June 19, 2020,; and “Socotra … Clashes between National Army forces and Emirati-backed Transitional Militia,” Mareb Press, June 16, 2020,

[4] “Al Houthi militia announces through loudspeakers that it has taken control of the city of Ma’rib,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, June 18, 2020,; and “Freeing new sites .. and destroying a weapons store and military mechanisms for militias in Sirwah,” Mareb Press, June 11, 2020,

[5] “The fall of Radman district to the Houthis and storm the home of Yasser al Awadi,” 7adramout, June 19, 2020,; and “After the mediation failure, the Houthi militia bombed the Radman tribes in al Bayda with missiles and drones,” 7adramout, June 18, 2020,

[6] Tufan Aktas and Mohammed Dhaysane, “Somalia: 4 civilians killed by roadside bomb in capitol,” Anadolu Agency, June 18, 2020,; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 29, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 29, 2020,; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 17, 2020,

[7] “Somali army kills 7 al Shabaab militants in central Somalia,” News Ghana, June 19, 2020,; and Matthew Eady and Zachary Jaynes, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 27, 2020,

[8] “Kenya defeats Djibouti to win a seat at the UN Security Council,” Al Jazeera, June 18, 2020,; and Andrew Wasike, “Country has been away from highly coveted seat for 23 years, its term to start in January 2021,” Anadolu Agency, June 18, 2020, - :~:text=Kenya's term will begin in,permanent member between 1997-1998; and “Kenya wins final contested seat on Security Council,” UN, June 18, 2020,

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