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 fighters take control of Jales Mountain near al Anad air base; Saudi Arabia intercepts an al Houthi ballistic missile from Sana’a; Ban Ki-moon will meet with Saudi Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman; U.S. Secretary of State calls Kuwaiti Foreign Minister to discuss Yemeni peace talks

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab fighters target emergency response vehicles in Kenya; al Shabaab conducts IED attack on AMISOM vehicle in Barawe, Lower Shabelle; suspected al Shabaab fighters launch grenade attack in Marka, Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab apprehends humanitarian convoy in Hudur, Bakool region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi fighters took control of Jales Mountain near al Qabbaytah district, Lahij governorate on June 21 following two days of fierce fighting. Al Houthi fighters continue to attack Hadi government positions near the strategic, Saudi-controlled al Anad air base, and their control of Jales Mountain brings the air base within range of al Houthi artillery fire. A Saudi airstrike mistakenly killed eight civilians during the course of the battle for Jales.[1]
  • Saudi-led coalition warplanes intercepted a ballistic missile fired by al Houthi fighters towards Ma’rib, Ma’rib governorate on June 21. Coalition warplanes also destroyed the al Houthi ballistic missile platform in Bilad al Rus, southern Sana’a governorate from which the missile was launched.[2]
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will meet with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman on June 22. They will likely discuss the recent blacklisting, and subsequent removal from the black list, of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen for human rights violations against children. Ban Ki-moon is also rumored to be travelling to Kuwait to meet with the U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen to discuss the peace process.[3]
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Foreign Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Khalid al Hamid al Sabah on June 20 to thank him for hosting the Yemeni peace talks. They discussed the progress made therein and how best to move forward.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab fighters ambushed an emergency response vehicle carrying the bodies of five Kenyan Police officers who were killed in a militant-led attack near Elwak, Mandera County, Kenya on June 20. No additional casualties were reported in the subsequent assault. Suspected al Shabaab militants conducted an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a second Kenyan emergency response vehicle traveling to Hulugho, Garissa County, Kenya. The explosion killed the driver and wounded three others.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED against an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy traveling through Barawe town, Lower Shabelle region on June 20. The blast did not cause any casualties. The incident marks the second IED attack on coalition forces in Barawe town in the past week.[6]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) troops in Marka town, Lower Shabelle region on June 20. The incursion began with a single grenade explosion, followed with small arms fire. Early reports indicated that the attack killed one individual and wounded six others; the affiliation of the casualties remains unclear. Government forces and al Shabaab militants have waged a back and forth struggle for control of Marka since coalition forces wrested the town from al Shabaab in February 2016.[7]
  • Al Shabaab fighters apprehended three humanitarian assistance vehicles near Hudur town, Bakool region on June 20. The fighters removed the drivers from the vehicles and then destroyed the trucks. No casualties were reported. Al Shabaab perpetuates the humanitarian crisis in Somalia in order to support its narrative that the Federal Government of Somalia is unfit to lead.[8]

[1] “Houthis gain ground in southwest Yemen” al Bawaba News, June 21, 2016; “Houthis on the outskirts of the strategic Anad base due to lack of ammunition resistance and ignore the fourth region,” al Masdar, June 21, 2016,; and “Yemeni Officials Say Coalition Airstrike Kills 8 Civilians,” Associated Press, June 21, 2016,
[2] “Ballistic missile intercepted in Yemen — coalition,” Gulf News, June 21,  2016,; and “Coalition destroys ballistic missile south of Sana’a,” Barakish, June 21, 2016,
[3]  “Houthis gain ground in southwest Yemen,” al Bawaba News, June 21, 2016; and “Saudi-led coalition dropped from U.N. child-rights blacklist,” CNN, June 08, 2016,
[4] “U.S.- Kuwaiti discussion on Yemeni peace talks,” Barakish, June 21, 2016,
[5] “Suspected Al-Shabaab fighters ambush Ambulance ferrying bodies of police in Mandera,” Goobjoog News, June 21, 2016,; and “Bomb kills ambulance driver in Garissa,” Goobjoog News, June 21, 2016,
[6] “Roadside bomb targets AMISOM Convoy in Barawo,” Goobjoog News, June 21, 2016,
[7] “One person die as SNA soldiers attacked with hand grenade in Marka town,” Goobjoog News, June 21, 2016,; and “One dead, six wounded in grenade explosion in Marka,” Shabelle News, June 21, 2016,
[8] “Al-Shabaab burns trucks carrying food near Hudur,” Shabelle News, June 21, 2016,
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jul '16
Jun '16
May '16