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: Yemeni newspaper reports US Marines present in Socotra; Saudi-led coalition forces recapture several cities in al Jawf governorate; al Houthis shoot down Saudi-led coalition plane in al Hudaydah governorate
Horn of Africa: AFRICOM airstrike kills four al Shabaab militants in central Somalia; al Shabaab attacks SNA bases in southern Somalia; al Shabaab detonates improvised explosive device targeting security checkpoint in northern Somalia; SNA to retake al Shabaab-held territory in Lower Jubba region
Yemen Security Brief:
A Yemeni local source reported that US Marine Corps forces arrived on the island of Socotra located to the south of Yemen on March 7. The US forces will reportedly support United Arab Emirate forces on the island. The Marines will also reportedly install defense systems overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean in an effort to build a future US military base on the island. The Marines arrived to Socotra in December 2019 to install Patriot defense missiles.
The Saudi-backed Hadi government forces claimed that they recaptured several cities in Khub wa al Shaf district in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on March 9. The al Houthi militants clashed with Hadi government forces in Khub wa al Shaf district in early March. The al Houthis seized al Hazm, the capital of al Jawf governorate on March 1.
The al Houthi militants claimed to have shot down a Saudi-led coalition reconnaissance plane over al Tahita district in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on March 10. The al Houthi militants accused the Saudi-led coalition forces of violating Yemeni airspace with recent airstrikes, according to local sources.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab near Janaale in central Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on March 9. The strike killed four militants. AFRICOM conducted an airstrike targeting Gandarshe in the Lower Shabelle region on March 7.
Al Shabaab launched two separate attacks on Somali National Army (SNA) bases in southern Somalia near the towns of Diff in Lower Jubba region and Awdheegle in Lower Shabelle region on March 10. A local administrator reported that the SNA killed six militants and suffered three casualties in the attack near Diff. Al Shabaab announced that it killed two SNA soldiers in the attack near Awdheegle. Al Shabaab killed over 20 SNA soldiers during an attack on an SNA base near El Salini in Lower Shabelle region in late February.
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device targeting a security checkpoint outside Boosaaso in Somalia’s northern Puntland State on March 9. The attack injured two Puntland State security officers. Puntland State security forces arrested eight al Shabaab fighters in Boosaaso in early March.
The SNA is launching an operation to retake areas under al Shabaab’s control near the town of Jamaame in Somalia’s Lower Jubba region, according to local residents. AFRICOM conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab near Jamaame in late January.
 “US marines reinforce UAE forces in Socotra,” Sanaa post, March 7, 2020, https://sanaspostnews.com/2020/03/07/us-marines-reinforce-uae-forces-in-socotra/.
 “Yemeni army says sites near Saudi border wrested from rebels,” AP news, March 9, 2020, https://apnews.com/1a91d0d862ddfb4fdda7490108b6f93c; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security review- March 9, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 9, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-9-2020.
 “Ansarallah forces shoot down enemy aircraft in western Yemen,” al Masdar news, March 10, 2020, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/ansarallah-forces-shoot-down-enemy-aircraft-in-western-yemen/.
 “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM target al-Shabaab,” AFRICOM, March 9, 2020, https://www.africom.mil/media-room/pressrelease/32624/federal-government-of-somalia-africom-target-al-shabaab; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 9, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 9, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-9-2020.
 “Six al-Shabab militants killed during fight with Somalia troops,” China.org, March 10, 2020, http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2020-03/10/content_75797549.htm; “Two gov't soldiers killed in Awdheegle attack, Lower-Shabelle region,” Goobjoog, March 10, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/two-govt-soldiers-killed-in-awdheegle-attack-lower-shabelle-region/; and Minatullah Alobaidi, Pamela Makadsi, and Sameul Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security review- February 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, February 19, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-february-19-2020.
 Liibaan Jeexoow, “At least 3 people have been killed and more than 10 others injured in a suicide car bomb attack in the port city of Bosasso on Saturday,” March 10, 2020, https://somalimemo.net/articles/12561/Qarax-Khasaare-dhaliyay-oo-Xalay-ka-dhacay-magaalada-Boosaaso-Ee-Gobolka-Bari; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 4, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 4, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-4-2020.
 “Somali Army Edging Closer to Key al Shabaab Controlled Town,” Radio Shabelle, March 9, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/somali-army-edging-closer-to-key-al-shabaab-controlled-town/; and “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM conduct operations against al-Shabaab terrorists,” AFRICOM, February 4, 2020, https://www.africom.mil/media-room/pressrelease/32565/federal-government-of-somalia-africom-conduct-operations-against-al-shabaab-terrorists.