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 militants clash with Yemeni military at a checkpoint in al Qatan in Hadramawt; suspected AQAP gunmen attack military checkpoint in Ibb; al Houthi rebels reposition forces despite ceasefire in Amran; roadside IED detonates near Yemeni 33rd Armored Brigade vehicle in Sanah in al Dhaleh; Jahm tribal gunmen kidnap oil company director in Asheil in Ma'rib; gunmen attack Yemeni 139th Brigade in Rada'a in al Bayda; gunmen assassinate Lahij security director and two government buildings in al Hawtah
Horn of Africa: senior al Shabaab leader defects to Somali federal government; AMISOM and SNA forces seized villages from al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; Somali military factions clash over clan disputes in Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants clashed with the Yemeni military at a checkpoint in al Qatan in Hadramawt on June 7, killing one soldier and wounding one AQAP militant. Both sides exchanged fire with rocket-propelled grenades and other military equipment near the main courthouse in al Qatan. Separately, suspected AQAP gunmen attacked a Yemeni military checkpoint in Ibb governorate on June 8, killing one soldier and wounding the checkpoint’s commanding military officer. Colonel Abdo al Halmi stated that four gunmen attacked and fled to Hazem Udayn.
- Armed al Houthi rebels repositioned soldiers and weapons in Amran on June 9 despite a recent ceasefire agreement. Locals claimed the Houthis have violated the ceasefire.
- A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a moving Yemeni 33rd Armored Brigade vehicle in Sanah in al Dhaleh on June 8, resulting in no casualties. Following the explosion, clashes erupted between Yemeni soldiers and Southern Movement gunmen in Sanah area.
- Gunmen from the Jahm tribe kidnapped a foreign worker along the road to Sana’a in Asheil area in Ma’rib governorate on June 9. A local source reported that the foreigner worked as the director for an oil company in Ma’rib.
- Unidentified gunmen attacked a Yemeni 139th Brigade water truck in Rada'a in al Bayda on June 7, killing one soldier and wounding another. A local source reported that the gunmen attacked and fled while riding on a motorcycle.
- Unidentified gunmen attacked the security administration building and the Lahij governorate building in al Hawtah in Lahij on June 8, assassinating the security director of Lahij. A local source reported that clashes erupted after the gunman demanded the release of imprisoned detainees.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- A senior al Shabaab leader, Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom, defected to the Somali federal government on June 7. Atom, formerly the commander of al Shabaab in the Galgala mountain area of Puntland, released a statement explaining his decision shortly after his defection. The statement criticized al Shabaab emir Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubair, and his leadership, stating that al Shabaab deliberately misguided youths, killed Somali Muslims, distorted jihad, and denied humanitarian aid to the Somali people. In response to Atom’s defection, al Shabaab reportedly appointed Yasin Kilwe as the new al Shabaab commander in Galgala.
- AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces seized two villages, Abdi Ali and Furuqley, near Qoryoley in Lower Shabelle region from al Shabaab on June 8. Qoryoley Mayor Osman Mohamed Burale reported that AMISOM and SNA forces engaged in heavy clashes with al Shabaab militants during the operation.
- Somali military factions clashed in several locations throughout Lower Shabelle region, including Busley, Janale, Marka, and Shalambood, from June 7 to June 9. The factions reportedly consist of soldiers from rival clans, specifically Biyomal and Habar Gedir. Reports indicate that as many as 19 people have been killed in the fighting thus far. In response, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed called for a ceasefire between the factions on June 9. Within the statement, Ahmed appealed to AMISOM to support the ceasefire and announced that Somali National Security forces are to immediately assume responsibility of Lower Shabelle region.