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: Saudi-led coalition launches airstrikes in Sana’a governorate; al Houthis shell civilian bus in Taiz; unidentified gunmen kill journalist in Aden; Saudi Arabia and UN host donation conference for Yemen

Horn of Africa: Mozambican security forces claim killing dozens of IS-aligned militants in northern Mozambique; al Shabaab raids Ethiopian military base in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting KDF patrol in southwestern Somalia; ISCA claims killing Christians in northeastern DRC

Yemen Security Brief:

Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi positions in Nihm district in Sana’a governorate in northern Yemen on June 2. The airstrikes allegedly destroyed several al Houthi vehicles and caused several al Houthi casualties. Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour claimed advancing in Nihm district in late May.[1]

Al Houthi militants reportedly shelled a civilian bus in a residential neighborhood of Taiz city in southern Yemen’s Taiz governorate on June 3. The attack killed a woman and injured four other people. Al Houthi militants clashed with Hadi government forces in Taiz city in mid-May.[2]

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a Yemeni journalist in Aden city in southern Yemen’s Aden governorate on June 2. The photo journalist had worked for Western media outlets, including Agence France-Presse. A security official in Aden said security authorities detained several suspects related to this shooting without providing additional details. The journalist supported southern independence in Yemen and had previously faced criticism from the al Islah party, a Yemeni political party seeking to preserve a unified Yemeni state.[3]

Saudi Arabia and the UN co-hosted a virtual donation conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 2 to raise money for Yemen. Donors raised $1.35 billion for humanitarian aid organizations, however, failed to reach the conference goal of $2.4 billion. The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, led the US delegation at the conference. The US announced in early May that it would provide $225 million to food programs in Yemen.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Mozambican security forces killed 68 Islamic State-aligned militants in Macomia town in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province between May 28 and May 31, according to Mozambique’s Defense Minister. The death count included two militant leaders, according to the official. The surviving militants allegedly withdrew to nearby Miangalewa village with looted supplies and civilian prisoners.[5]

Al Shabaab militants attacked an Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) base near Bardale in south-central Somalia’s Bay region on June 1. The militants launched several mortar shells targeting the base before ENDF soldiers drove the militants away. Al Shabaab claimed detonating two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) killing Ethiopian troops near Bardale in late May.[6]

Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting a Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) patrol vehicle near Hosingow in southwestern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on June 1. The blast killed at least two KDF soldiers. Al Shabaab militants raided a Jubbaland State security force base near Dhobley in Lower Jubba region in late May.[7]

The Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCA) claimed killing 11 Christian villagers in Mindi village in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu province on June 3. ISCA claimed killing a total of 43 Congolese Christians during two attacks in late May.[8]

[1] “Intense airstrikes on Houthi positions in Nihm,” 7adramout, June 2, 2020,; “Dead, wounded, and destroyed vehicles: heavy losses for al Houthi militia in Nihm front,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, June 2, 2020,; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 1, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 1, 2020,

[2] “In a new crime al Houthi militia bombs bus in Taiz,” 7adramout, June 3, 2020,; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 18, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2020,

[3] Bethan McKernan, “Yemeni journalist who backed independence for south is dead,” The Guardian, June 3, 2020,

[4] Aziz El Yaakoubi and Nafisa Eltahir, “Donors promise Yemen $1.35 billion, falling short of U.N. target to save aid operations,” Reuters, June 2, 2020,; and “Assistant Secretary of State Schenker Leads U.S. Delegation to High-Level Virtual Pledging Conference for Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen,” US Department of State, June 2, 2020,  


[5] Arnaldo Vieira, “Mozambique security forces kill 78 insurgents Cabo Delgado – govt,” The East African, June 3, 2020,

[6] “Ethiopian troops at army base in Somalia comes under Islamist attack,” Garowe, June 3, 2020,; and “Shabaab Photographs Toy Gun-Totting Children During Eid Celebrations, Claims 18 Attacks in One-Week,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 28, 2020,

[7] “Al-Shabaab claims deaths of KDF soldiers in Somalia,” Garowe, June 3, 2020,; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - May 27, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 27, 2020,

[8] “ISCAP Continues Attacks on Congolese Christians, Claims Killing 11 in Latest Assault,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 3, 2020, available by subscription at

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