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: AQAP releases statement claiming most of its fighters come from Yemen; AQAP releases martyrdom video for deceased AQAP fighter; AQAP militants kidnap three Yemeni soldiers in Ibb and clash with al Houthi militants in al Bayda; Yemeni military clashes with AQAP militants in Shabwah; gunmen assassinate AQAP militant and airstrikes target suspected AQAP sites in al Bayda; suspected AQAP militants assassinate four in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP militants assassinate Yemeni intelligence officer in Sana’a and Yemeni CID officer in Lahij; Yemeni air force strikes al Houthi positions and IED detonates in Sana’a; clashes between the Yemeni military and al Houthis resume in Amran
Horn of Africa: Kenyan Air Force conducts airstrikes on al Shabaab bases in Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants clash with Somali government forces in Bakool, Bay, Galgudud, and Lower Jubba regions; car bomb kills prominent Somali journalist in Mogadishu; rival clan militias clash in Middle Shabelle region and Kenya’s Northeastern Province
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement on June 21, refuting Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s claim that 70% of AQAP is comprised of foreigners in an April 29 speech. AQAP responded that most of their fighters come from Yemen and asserted that the Yemeni security forces and military serve as agents of the West.
- AQAP released a martyrdom video for a deceased AQAP fighter, Abu Auf al Shruri, through its insurgent arm, Ansar al Sharia, to YouTube on June 19. The video claims that al Shruri struck the al Ghayl checkpoint in al Jawf with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED), killing 20 al Houthi militants and destroying one building.
- Ali Nasser al Anza, an AQAP leader, and other militants hijacked a Yemeni 55th Artillery Brigade water truck and kidnapped three soldiers in Yarim, Ibb on June 21. Separately, AQAP militants clashed with al Houthi militants in Rada, al Bayda on June 21, killing one AQAP militant and two al Houthi militants.
- Soldiers from the Yemeni 21st Mechanized Brigade clashed with AQAP militants in Hiban, Shabwah on June 22.
- Unidentified gunmen assassinated an AQAP militant in Rada, al Bayda on June 21. Separately, airstrikes struck suspected AQAP sites in the villages of al Qureshia and Walid al Rabia in al Bayda on June 21.
- Suspected AQAP militants assassinated two civilians on June 21 and a security guard in Shihr, Hadramawt on June 22. Separately, suspected AQAP militants assassinated a Political Security Organization (PSO) officer in al Mukalla, Hadramawt on June 22.
- Suspected AQAP militants assassinated Brigadier General Abdullah al Mehdarin in Sana’a on June 21. Separately, suspected AQAP militants assassinated a Yemeni Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer in Hawtah, Lahij on June 22.
- An IED detonated near the house of the Salafi sheikh, Munri Jamria, in al Jiraf, Sana’a on June 20. Following the explosion, al Houthi militants opened fire on security forces in al Jiraf, Sana’a. Separately, al Houthi rebels blocked a road connecting al Jiraf to the Sana’a airport in Sana’a on June 21. Also, the Yemeni military conducted airstrikes on al Houthi-held villages in Sana’a on June 21.
- The Yemeni 310th Armored Brigade, supported by al Islah Party tribesmen, clashed with al Houthi militants in Amran on June 23.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Kenyan Air Force jets, operating under AMISOM, conducted airstrikes on al Shabaab bases in Anole and Kuday in Lower Jubba region on June 23. AMISOM announced that the airstrikes killed at least thirty militants in Anole and fifty militants in Kuday. Separately, an al Shabaab spokesman reported on June 23 that al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan AMISOM convoy in an unspecified location along the Kenya-Somalia border, destroying four trucks and killing the occupants.
- Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) bases near Wajid, Bakool region on June 20. Separately, al Shabaab militants ambushed an AMISOM and SNA convoy near Bardale, Bay region on June 23. Al Shabaab militants also attacked an AMISOM and SNA base in Elbur, Galgadud region on June 22. An SNA official reported that the AMISOM and SNA forces repelled the attack, killing three al Shabaab militants. Finally, al Shabaab militants attacked Jubbaland security forces near Kulbiyow, Lower Jubba region on June 23.
- A car bomb killed a prominent Somali journalist, Yusuf Abukar Keynan, near the Somali Presidential Palace in the Wardhigley district of Mogadishu on June 21. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
- Rival clan militias clashed near the KM-50 area of Middle Shabelle region on June 22. The fighting broke out despite recent dialogue, designed to end clan-based hostility in the region, between clan elders and local leaders in Janale. Separately, the Degodia clan militia clashed with the Gare clan militia near Wajir in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on June 23. A Kenyan police spokesman reported that twenty combatants were killed during the fighting.