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: UAE to reduce military presence in Yemen; Hadi government-aligned forces advance against al Houthis in al Dhaleh governorate

Horn of Africa: SNA forces clash with each other in Lower Shabelle region; two al Shabaab battalions clash in Jilib; unidentified individuals kill more than 50 people in northwestern Ethiopia

Yemen Security Brief:

The UAE is reportedly reducing its military presence in Yemen, according to a Reuters report on June 28.  The UAE will remain in an advise-and-assist role to Yemeni forces on the Red Sea coast and in the counterterrorism line of effort. The UAE counterterrorism effort significantly degraded the capacity of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen.[1]

Hadi government-aligned Yemeni forces captured mountain ranges in al Qafala in northern Qatabah district in al Dhaleh governorate from al Houthi forces on June 28, according to an anti-al Houthi source  This military advance closes supply routes into Qatabah. Yemeni Southern Resistance Forces launched “Operation Stability” to recapture  al Dhaleh from al Houthi forces in May 2019. [2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Somali National Army (SNA) forces clashed with one another in Wanlaweyn town, which lies on the road to Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia on June 27. The forces belonged to two different clans. A dispute over control of the checkpoint in the town triggered the clash. Two soldiers were killed and several others were injured.[3]

Two al Shabaab battalions clashed in Jilib in the Middle Jubba region of southern Somalia on June 27. Infighting between commanders caused the clash. The number of casualties is unknown.[4]

Unidentified uniformed individuals killed more than 50 people in the Metekel zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz region of northwestern Ethiopia on June 24. The head of the Benishangul-Gumuz peace and security bureau stated that the individuals involved in the attempted coup in the neighboring Amhara region on June 22 may be responsible for the attack.[5]

Visit our Yemen, Somalia, UAE and Ethiopia story streams.

[1] “Exclusive: UAE, scales down military presence in Yemen as Gulf tensions rise,” Reuters, June 28, 2019,

[2] Suhail Channel, Twitter, June 28, 2019,; “Witnessed fronts of Qatabah and Hajr in operations by heroes of the al Hizam Security Forces and Southern Resistance Forces in north and west Dhaleh,” June 28, 2019,; and “Extracting a series of locations from the grip of the Houthis in Dhaleh,” June 28, 2019, DO NOT GO TO SITE:

[3] “Five dead, several injured in southern Somalia clashes,” Garowe, June 28, 2019,; and “Heavy Inter-Clan Battle Erupts in Somalia Town,” Radio Shabelle, June 27, 2019,

[4] “Violent infighting breaks out among al Shabaab ranks,” Radio Dalsan, June 27, 2019,

[5] “More than 50 people killed in attacks in western Ethiopia,” Radio Dalsan, June 27, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 24, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 24, 2019,

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