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: ROYG delegation head says negotiations with the Houthis have not progressed; unidentified militants kill anti-Houthi commander and Salafist preacher in central Yemen
Somalia: US-trained Puntland Security Forces arrest Ethiopian IS-Somalia operatives in northern Somalia; US-trained Danab special forces secure a village in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets regional governor’s convoy in central Somalia; al Shabaab raids Jubbaland State bases in southern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
The head of the Yemeni government’s negotiating team Abdul Karim Shaiban said on June 26 that negotiations with the Houthis to reopen roads in Taiz governorate have made “zero progress.”[i] He blamed the lack of progress on the Houthis’ refusal to open larger roads in Taiz to commercial and humanitarian traffic.
Unidentified gunmen assassinated anti-Houthi military leader and Salafi preacher Abdul Razaq al Baqama in Wadi district, eastern Ma’rib governorate, on June 24.[ii] Al Baqama was a leader in the Saudi–backed Happy Yemen Brigades, which participated in anti-Houthi military operations in Ma’rib governorate in late-2021 and early-2022.[iii]
Somalia Security Brief:
Paramilitary Puntland Security Forces arrested Islamic State-Somalia (IS-S) operatives in Timirshe and Hafun, Iskushuban district, Bari region, northern Somalia, on June 24.[iv] The PSF arrested seven Ethiopian Oromo IS-Somalia operatives after receiving a tip off from locals. The operatives reportedly traveled to supply other IS-S operatives in the Timiro Mountains.
Danab special forces secured El Baraf village in Jowhar district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on June 27.[v] Danab forces established roadblocks on the roads leading to the village and patrolled the surrounding areas. Al Shabaab overran a Burundian ATMIS base in El Baraf on May 3 and has been present in the village since.[vi]
Al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device targeting the Hiran region governor’s convoy in Qabno, Beledweyne district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on June 27.[vii] The IED killed two soldiers and two civilians and wounded four others. The IED failed to kill the governor.
Al Shabaab militants raided three Jubbaland State security forces bases in Buda Dariq, Garaska and Sangaleer, Kismayo district, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia, on June 27.[viii] Al Shabaab claimed to kill at least eight soldiers in the attacks.
[i] Al Montasaf, “Shaiban… Negotiations are usually ground zero, and a Saudi newspaper describes the truce as a disappointment,” June 26, 2022, http://almontasaf.net/news70120.html; Mareb Press, “The first official threat of the collapse of theUN armistice in Yemen, and the head of the government delegation confirms: ‘Negotiations with the Houthis over Taiz have returned to ground zero,’” June 26, 2022, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=185390&lang=arabic.
[ii] Al Masdar, “The assassination of the Salafi preacher and leader of the Happy Yemen Brigades, Abdul RAzaq al Baqama, east of Ma’rib governorate,” June 24, 2022, https://almasdaronline.com/articles/254356; @Alsakaniali, Twitter, June 24, 2022, https://twitter.com/Alsakaniali/status/1540420233231585281?s=20&t=k9SeuQ_6_8_QGFJNWd_bTA.
[iii] Al Araby Al Jadid, “Yemen: ‘A reserve army’ under the coalition’s administration,” February 17, 2022, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/politics/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%22%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%81%22-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%AA-%D8%A5%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81.
[iv] Radio Risaala, “Puntland captures foreigners in ISIS,” June 24, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/puntland-oo-gacanta-ku-dhigtay-ajaanib-ka-tirsan-kooxda-daacish/; Puntland Security Forces Twitter, June 24, 2022, https://twitter.com/PSFForces/status/1540267769463447553.
[v] Radio Risaala, “Danab forces take over El Baraf area,” June 27, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/ciidanka-danab-oo-la-wareegay-degaanka-ceelbaraf-faah-faahin-laga-helayo/.
[vi] Liam Karr and Christopher Muth, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 4, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 4, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-4-2022.
[vii] Goobjoog News, “Four killed, three injured, including two journalists as vehicle hits landmine in Mataban,” June 27, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/four-killed-three-injured-including-2-journalists-as-vehicle-hits-landmine-in-mataban/; Caasimada, “Fighting between al Shabaab and government forces in Hiraan,” June 27, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/dagaal-culus-oo-u-dhexeeya-al-shabaab-iyo-ciidamada-df-oo-ka-socda-hiiraan/.
[viii] Somalimemo, “8 soldiers killed in Kismayo clashes,” June 27, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16635/Weeraro-8-Askari-lagu-dilay-oo-ka-dhacay-duleedka-Kismaayo.