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: US Secretary of State meets with top Saudi and Yemeni leaders in Saudi Arabia
Somalia: Al Shabaab conducts twin suicide bombing targeting an Ethiopian base near the Ethiopia-Somalia border in southwestern Somalia; SNA clears a gathering of al Shabaab militants in southern Somalia with international drone support; al Shabaab conducts two IED attacks targeting Kenyan forces in northeastern Kenya
Yemen Security Brief
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed Yemen during a meeting in Jeddah on June 6. The US State Department released a statement saying the two countries reaffirmed their joint commitment for a comprehensive political agreement to achieve peace, prosperity, and security in Yemen.[i]
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi in Riyadh on June 8.[ii] The two discussed peace efforts and other aspects of US-Yemeni relations. Blinken specifically underscored the need for a more comprehensive peace agreement and the importance of UN-led negotiations.[iii]
Somalia Security Brief
Al Shabaab conducted a twin suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack targeting an Ethiopian National Defense Forces base in Dolow, Gedo region, southwestern Somalia, on June 7. Al Shabaab said that one SVBIED targeted the headquarters and the other targeted the supply depot in the base.[iv] Ethiopian and Somali officials said one of the SVBIEDs detonated in front of the base injuring four soldiers, while soldiers forced the second SVBIED to prematurely detonate with the base outside of the blast range.[v] Al Shabaab likely falsely claimed the attacks killed 123 soldiers and wounded 78 others without providing any evidence.[vi]
Somali National Army forces with international drone support cleared a gathering of al Shabaab militants near Baladul Amin, Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on June 7.[vii] Somali officials claimed the operation killed at least 20 al Shabaab militants.
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Kenyan Defense Forces convoy on the Mararani-Kiunga Road, Lamu County, northeastern Kenya, on June 7.[viii] Al Shabaab claimed the attack killed at least four Kenyan soldiers and injured ten others.
Al Shabaab detonated an IED targeting a Kenyan Police vehicle near Qurqura village, Lafey-Elwak Road, Mandera County, northeastern Kenya, on June 7.[ix] The attack killed one officer and wounded six others.
[i] US Department of State, “Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” June 6, 2023, https://www.state.gov/secretary-blinkens-meeting-with-saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman.
[iii] US Department of State, “Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council President Al-Alimi,” June 8, 2023, https://www.state.gov/secretary-blinkens-meeting-with-yemeni-presidential-leadership-council-president-al-alimi-3.
[v] Abdiqani Abduallahi, “Ethiopian forces thwart al Shabaab attack,” SONNA, June 7, 2023, https://sonna.so/en/ethiopian-forces-thwart-al-shabaab-attack.
[vi] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Estimates 201 Casualties in Twin Suicide Bombings at Ethiopian Base in Somalia's Gedo Region,” June 8, 2023, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[vii] Abdiqani Abduallahi, “Somali National Army supported by international partners eliminates 20 al Shabaab extremists in successful operation,” SONNA, June 7, 2023, https://sonna.so/en/somali-national-army-supported-by-international-partners-eliminates-20-al-shabaab-extremists-in-successful-operation.
[viii] Jamaal Maxamed, “Kenyan soldiers who were blown up outside Mandera + Casualties,” Caasimada, June 8, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/ciidamo-ka-tirsan-kuwa-kenya-oo-lagu-qarxiyay-duleedka-mandera-khasaaraha; Radio al Furqaan, “An explosion killed Kenyan soldiers in Lamu region of the NFD,” June 7, 2023, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2023/06/qarax-lagu-laayay-ciidamo-kenyaan-ah-oo-ka-dhacay-gobalka-lamu-ee-dhulka-nfd.
[ix] Ibrahim Adan Ali, “One police officer killed, six others injured after landmine explosion in Mandera,” Standard Media, June 8, 2023, https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/north-eastern/article/2001474674/one-police-officer-killed-six-others-injured-after-landmine-explosion-in-mandera.