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: Houthi-ROYG prisoner exchange negotiations officially resume; UN Special Envoy to Yemen meets with Iranian foreign affairs advisor; Iran agrees to stop encouraging Houthi cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia; AQAP targets UAE-backed forces with mortar fire
Somalia: Al Shabaab attacks a military base in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab continues its anti-drug operations in Mogadishu; US-trained special forces clear al Shabaab from a village in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab attacks a police station in Mogadishu; al Shabaab and Islamic State militants fight in northeastern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
The Yemeni government (ROYG) and the Houthis officially resumed negotiations on prisoner exchanges under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland on March 11.[i]
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg met with Iranian Senior Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Asghar Khaji to discuss the recent developments in peace talks and Houthi-ROYG prisoner exchanges in Tehran, Iran on March 12.[ii]
The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that Iran has agreed to “stop encouraging [Houthi] cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia from Yemen.”[iii] The Journal cited unnamed Saudi, Iranian, and U.S. officials.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fired mortar shells targeting a leadership meeting of UAE-backed forces in the al Baqira village, Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, Yemen on March 10.[iv] AQAP and southern Yemeni sources did not report casualties.
Somalia Security Brief
Al Shabaab attacked a military base in Goof Gaduud-Burey area, Baidoa district, Bay region, southwestern Somalia, on March 12.[v] Regional security forces reported they thwarted the attack.[vi] The attack injured one soldier.
Al Shabaab killed two alleged drug dealers in Wadajir district, Mogadishu, southern Somalia, on March 10.[vii] This attack is part of the anti-drug campaign that al Shabaab launched on February 26.[viii]
US-trained Danab special forces and Jubbaland State forces cleared al Shabaab from Mido village in Afmadow district, Lower Jubba region, southwestern Somalia, on March 12.[ix] The raid killed seven al Shabaab militants, including a regional commander.[x]
Al Shabaab militants attacked a police station in Heliwaa district, Mogadishu, southern Somalia, on March 11.[xi] Somali police officers responded to the attack by raiding an al Shabaab hideout and capturing several attackers.[xii]
Al Shabaab and Islamic State–Somalia militants clashed in Dadamale and Quracda valleys, Bari region, northeastern Somalia, on March 12.[xiii]
[i] Al Jazeera, “Yemen’s warring sides hold prisoner exchange talks in Geneva” March 11, 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/11/yemens-warring-sides-hold-prisoner-exchange-talks-in-geneva
[ii] Al Alam, “UN Envoy for Yemen Affairs meets with Iranian foreign affairs advisor,” March 12, 2023, https://www.alalam.ir/news/6563788
[iii] Wall Street Journal, “China Plans New Middle East Summit as Diplomatic Role Takes Shape,” March 12, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-plans-summit-of-persian-gulf-arab-and-iranian-leaders-as-new-middle-east-role-takes-shape-357cfd7e
[iv] SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Targets Leadership Gathering of UAE-backed Forces in Abyan, Releases Photo Documentation,” March 10, 2023, https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Jihadist-Threat-Statements/aqap-targets-leadership-gathering-of-uae-backed-forces-in-abyan-releases-photo-documentation.html
[v] Caasimada, “Heavy fighting between government forces and Al-Shabaab in Bay region,” March 12, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/dagaal-xooggan-oo-ciidamada-dowladda-iyo-al-shabaab-ku-dhexmaray-gobolka-baay/
[vi] Caasimada, ““Heavy fighting between government forces and Al-Shabaab in Bay region”
[vii] Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab killed Usmaney and Abdi-Weli in Mogadishu,” March 10, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/al-shabaab-oo-muqdisho-ku-dishay-cusmaaney-iyo-cabdi-weli-oo-kamid-ahaa/
[viii] Hussein Mohamed, @HussienM12, Twitter, February 27, 2023, https://twitter.com/HussienM12/status/1630097278772862977?s=20
[ix] Halbeeg, “SNA kills seven al-Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia,” March 13, 2023, https://en.halbeeg.com/2023/03/13/sna-kills-seven-al-shabaab-fighters-in-southern-somalia/
[x] Shabelle Media Network, “At least 7 Al-Shabaab members killed in joint operation,” March 13, 2023, https://shabellemedia.com/somalia-at-least-7-al-shabaab-members-killed-joint-operation/
[xi] Somali Dispatch, “Somalia: Al Shabaab attacks security forces and suspected drug dealers,” March, 12, 2023, https://www.somalidispatch.com/latest-news/somalia-al-shabaab-attacks-security-forces-and-suspected-drug-dealers/
[xii] Somali Dispatch, “Somalia: Al Shabaab attacks security forces and suspected drug dealers”
[xiii] Shabelle Media Network, “Al-Shabaab, ISIS-linked militants clash in Somalia’s Puntland state,” March 12, 2023, https://shabellemedia.com/al-shabaab-isis-clash-in-somalias-puntland-state/ ; Caasimada, “The latest news on the war between Al-Shabaab and Daesh in the East,” March 12, 2023, https://www.caasimada.net/wararkii-ugu-dambeeyay-dagaalka-al-shabaab-iyo-daacish-ee-ka-socda-bari/