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: U.S. senators submit draft resolution to withdraw military support from Saudi-led coalition; gunmen set fire to local print newspaper headquarters in Aden; President Hadi visits Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir due to Daghir’s poor health; Saudi-led coalition intercepts al Houthi ballistic missile in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab suicide bomber detonates SVBIED in Kahda District, Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants fire mortars at AMISOM forces in Mogadishu; U.S. senator calls for more assistance to fight al Shabaab in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

U.S. Senators Mike Lee (UT-R), Bernie Sanders (VT-I), and Chris Murphy (CT-D) submitted a draft resolution on February 28 that would withdraw U.S. military support from the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts in Yemen. The executive branch has used the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) to provide the Saudi-led coalition with logistical and intelligence support in Yemen. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution that symbolically acknowledged that congress has not authorized the U.S. military to assist the Saudi-led coalition in November 2017.[1]

Gunmen stormed the headquarters of a local print newspaper and set the building on fire in Dar Sa’ad district, Aden city on March 1. The gunmen allegedly belonged to Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces, according to local sources. Al Hizam Security Forces arrested journalist Awad Kashmim for criticizing al Hizam in al Mukalla city, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen on February 21.[2]

Internationally recognized President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi visited Prime Minister Ahmed Bin Daghir due to Daghir’s current poor health in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 1. Daghir traveled to Riyadh from Aden city on February 16 after southern secessionist forces confined Daghir to Ma’ashiq Palace in Aden for two weeks.[3]

The Saudi-led coalition intercepted a ballistic missile in Ma’rib city, northern Yemen on March 1. The al Houthi movement frequently fires ballistic missiles at Ma’rib to slow coalition-backed Hadi government offensives against al Houthi-held territory.[4] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

An al Shabaab suicide bomber detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at a security checkpoint in Kahda district, Mogadishu, central Somalia on March 1. The blast targeted Somali police officers inspecting cars at Sinka Dheer checkpoint. Al Shabaab claimed that the blast killed and wounded over 20 people. Al Shabaab conducted a double SVBIED attack targeting the Presidential Palace and national intelligence headquarters on February 23, killing at least 45 people in Mogadishu.[5]

Al Shabaab fired mortars targeting African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Mogadishu on March 1. Al Shabaab fired at least eight mortars at several areas of Mogadishu, including Wardhigley district and Mogadishu Stadium. The attacks killed three civilians and injured two others, according to AMISOM forces. The mortar strikes occurred an hour after an al Shabaab suicide bomber detonated an SVBIED at a security checkpoint in Kahda district, Mogadishu.[6]

U.S. Democratic Senator Jack Reed said that the U.S. needs to do more to help the Somali Federal Government fight al Shabaab in an interview with NPR on February 27. Senator Reed said that al Shabaab is effectively collecting taxes, arbitrating local disputes, and maintaining political legitimacy where the Somali government is nonexistent. Senator Reed asserted that the U.S. needs to take both military and diplomatic action to expand the Somali government’s role and oust al Shabaab from its territory in order to prevent future attacks throughout the region and on U.S. targets.[7]  

[1] “Yemen war: senators push to end US support of Saudi Arabia,” The Guardian, February 28, 2018,; Patricia Zengerle, “Senators will try to pull U.S. from Yemen war,” Reuters, February 28, 2018,; and Mike Lee, Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy, “Why Congress must vote on the United States’ role in Yemen,” The Washington Post, February 28, 2018,
[2] “Gunmen break into a local newspaper building in Aden and set fire to it,” Al Masdar, March 1, 2018,; “Gunmen storm and burn the Candles for the Press Foundation and the fall of casualties,” Aden Time, March 1, 2018,; “Source: The leader of the Hizam security forces, Abu Yamamah, is the one who led the attack on the newspaper Akhbar al Youm,” Al Masdar, March 1, 2018,; and “(Twitter) calls for the release of journalist Awad Kashmim after being forcibly hidden in Hadramawt,” Al Araby, February 27, 2018,
[3] “President of the Republic reassures Dr. Ahmed bin Daghir for his health,” Saba News, March 1, 2018,
[4] “Intercepting a ballistic missile in the sky of Marib,” Aden Tomorrow, March 1, 2018,; and “Coalition destroys a ballistic missile targeting Marib,” Aden Time, March 1, 2018,
[5] “Car bomb detonates at security checkpoint near Mogadishu,” Radio Shabelle, March 1, 2018,; “Casualties feared in car bomb explosion outskirts of Mogadishu,” Goobjoog, March 1, 2018,; and “Suicide Bomber Targets Checkpoint Near Mogadishu,” Radio Dalsan, March 1, 2018,
[6] “Mortar attack in Mogadishu kills three people: peacekeepers,” Reuters, March 1, 2018,; and “Mortar Shelling Target Parts Of Mogadishu,” Radio Dalsan, March 1, 2018,
[7] “U.S. Needs To Do More In Somalia, Sen. Jack Reed Says,” NPR, February 27, 2018,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Mar '18
Feb '18
Jan '18