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: al Houthi rebels attack military base near Sana’a; General Ali bin Ali al Jaifi withdraws from Hamdan mediation committee; prison exchange negotiated in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab fires mortars targeting Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Gedo region; Somali security forces conduct a search operation in Mogadishu; AMISOM and Somali seize territory from al Shabaab in Hiraan region; blast strikes AMISOM vehicle in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi rebels attacked Yemeni soldiers at their base in Qaratel near Sana’a on March 12. Two Yemeni soldiers and six rebels were reportedly killed in the attack. At least four al Houthi rebels were also injured in the attack. Residents report that al Houthis have withdrawn into Amran and Mahwit governorates from Hamdan district in Sana’a, but at least three checkpoints in the vicinity of Shibam and Thula villages in Hamdan remain under al Houthi control.[1]
  • General Ali bin Ali al Jaifi officially withdrew from his role as part of a mediation committee between tribesmen and the al Houthis in Sana’a’s northern district, Hamdan, on March 12. According to a statement by General Jaifi, he accused the al Houthis of purposely delaying and not abiding by agreements set forth by the mediation committee.[2]
  • A member of the al Dhaleh tribal council, Mohammed al Oqla, said that the presidential committee established to mediate the conflict in al Dhaleh negotiated the release of prisoners. Thirteen of 29 captured Yemeni soldiers and 30 of about 50 captured civilians were released. The tribal council recommended removing the 33rd Armored Brigade from al Dhaleh.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants fired at least two mortar shells at Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a buildings in Burdhubo district in Gedo region on March 12. An Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a spokesman indicated that the mortars inflicted little damage without reporting any casualties. AMISOM and Somali forces seized Burdhubo from al Shabaab on March 9.[4]
  • Somali security forces conducted a search operation for al Shabaab supporters in the Daynile district of Mogadishu on March 13. The security forces disrupted public transportation and business in the district, reportedly arresting over 100 people during the operation.[5]
  • AMISOM and Somali forces seized territory throughout Hiraan region from al Shabaab on March 13. The joint forces seized the locations of Bardhere, Berhano, Buqda, and Nur Fanah. AMISOM and Somali forces also attacked an al Shabaab base near Rangabo village. Casualty figures from today’s regional offensive remain unclear.[6]
  • An explosion struck an AMISOM vehicle near Shalanbood in Lower Shabelle region on March 13. Reports indicate that, despite severe damage to the vehicle, the AMISOM soldiers operating the vehicle were unharmed. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.[7]

[1] “Shiite Rebels, Soldiers Killed in Yemen Firefight,” AFP, March 13, 2014. Available:
“Two Yemeni Soldiers Killed as Houthi Fighters Hit Army Base,” Reuters, March 13, 2014. Available:
“Yemen firefight kills Shiite rebels, soldiers,” Global Post, March 13, 2014. Available:
[2] “Major Jaifi announces his withdrawal from the mediation of Hamadan, and accuses the Houthis of stalling,” News Yemen, March 13, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] Nasser al Sakkaf, “Ceasefire and Prisoner Exchange Reached in al-Dhale,” Yemen Times, March 13, 2014. Available:
[4] “Mortar shells thrown in Buurdhuubo district,” Shabelle News, March 13, 2014. Available:
[5] “Somali security forces AMISOM launch joint operations in Mogadishu,” Goobjoog News, March 13, 2014. Available:
“Several arrested in Mogadishu suburb security operation,” Bar Kulan, March 13, 2014. Available:
[6] “Fighting in Jiiraan and Al-Shabaab lose control of territories,” Shabelle News, March 13, 2014. Available:
“Al-Shabaab lose Bug-agable to government forces,” Bar Kulan, March 13, 2014. Available:
[7] “AMISOM convoy targeted in a blast in Shalanbood,” Shabelle News, March 13, 2014. Available:
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