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: Al Houthi movement fires missile at Saudi industrial area; pro-Hadi and Emirati-backed Yemeni forces clash in Shabwah; al Houthi ballistic missile launch fails

Horn of Africa: Kenyan court convicts three men for 2015 Garissa University attack; Ethiopian Prime Minister discusses regional peace with Eritrean delegation

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces launched a missile at an industrial area in Jizan region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on June 19. The al Houthi movement claimed to hit a power station with a cruise missile. Saudi officials denied that the missile caused any damage and stated that it exploded near a desalination plant rather than a power plant. Saudi officials could not confirm what type of missile was used. Al Houthi forces previously fired a missile at Abha regional airport near Jizan on June 12, injuring 26 civilians.[1]

Yemeni forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi clashed with Emirati-backed Shabwani Elite Forces in Ataq, the capital of Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen, on June 19 and June 20. The clashes began following a breakdown of negotiations over security deployments in the city. A Shabwani Elite commander claimed that his forces were withdrawing from the city on June 19 when 21st Brigade forces loyal to President Hadi’s Vice President, General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, ambushed them. Pro-Hadi media claimed that the clashes started after Shabwani Elite Forces attempted to storm the Ataq airport.[2]

Al Houthi forces attempted to fire a ballistic missile at an unidentified target from the Yemeni capital Sana’a on June 20. The missile failed to reach its target and fell within Yemeni territory, according to the Saudi-led coalition.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

A court in the Kenyan capital Nairobi sentenced three Kenyan men on June 19 for their role in the April 2015 al Shabaab attack on Garissa University in eastern Kenya. These were Kenya’s first convictions linked to the attack, which killed 148 people. The attack was the deadliest that al Shabaab has ever conducted in Kenya.[4]

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed welcomed a senior Eritrean delegation to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on June 20. Abiy and the delegation discussed ways to improve bilateral relations and regional peace. Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace agreement in July 2018 that ended a 20-year conflict between the neighboring countries.[5]

[1] “Yemen’s Houthis launch strike on Saudi utility station, no damage,” Reuters, June 20, 2019,; “Saudi-led coalition: Houthi projectile lands near Saudi desalination plant,” Reuters, June 20, 2019,; “After the airports of Abha and Jazan.. Houthis declare targeting of power station,” Al Jazeera, June 20, 2019,الحوثي-السعودية-كروز-محطة-كهرباء.

[2] “The commander of the fourth brigade Shabuan elite Lieutenant Colonel ‘Wagdy Baoum’ accused forces loyal to Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar bombing the situation in the city of Ataq,” Hadramout, June 20, 2019,; “The latest developments in Shabwa and who controls Ataq,” Mareb Press, June 20, 2019,; and “Resurgence of fighting in Shabwa and revolutionary movement warns UAE,” Yemen Akhbar, June 20, 2019,

[3] “Ballistic missile fired from campus of Sanaa University,” Mareb Press, June 20, 2019,

[4] “Nairobi court hands down first convictions linked to 2015 Garissa University massacre,” June 19, 2019,; and “Kenyan court convicts three for aiding deadly Islamist attack on university,” Reuters, June 19, 2019,

[5] “Ethiopian PM welcomes Eritrea’s delegation,” Mareeg, June 20, 2019,

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