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: IS-Yemen pledges allegiance to new IS caliph; Yemeni Army interdicts anti-tank missiles bound for the Houthis

Somalia: AFRICOM drone strike targets al Shabaab base in central Somalia; al Shabaab raids a construction site in southeastern Kenya; SNA Gorgor forces ambush al Shabaab in southern Somalia; IS-S pledges allegiance to new IS caliph; US warns of additional visa sanctions on Somali leaders if lower house elections miss March 15 deadline


Yemen Security Brief:

The Islamic State published photos of Islamic State-Yemen fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State’s new caliph on March 12.[i]

The Yemeni Army interdicted 54 Iranian-built anti-tank missiles likely bound for the Houthis at the Shahn border crossing, al Mahra governorate, Yemen, on March 12.[ii] The missiles were smuggled into Yemen via Oman.

Somalia Security Brief:

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted a drone attack targeting an al Shabaab base in Hareeri-gubadle, El Buur district, Galgadud region, central Somalia, on March 13.[iii] Somali officials claimed the attack killed at least 200 al Shabaab militants.

Al Shabaab raided a construction site in Majengo, Lamu County, southeastern Kenya, on March 11.[iv] Al Shabaab killed six Kenyan workers and one Chinese construction worker.

Somali National Army (SNA) Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces ambushed al Shabaab in Mubarak, Qoryoley district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on March 13.[v] SNA officials claim they killed 25 al Shabaab militants and wounded 35 more. Al Shabaab claimed they repulsed the attack and killed 11 soldiers.[vi]

Islamic State-Somalia pledged allegiance to the new Islamic State caliph, Abu al Hassan al Hashimi al Quraishi, in a statement on March 12.[vii]

US Ambassador to Somalia Larry André warned on March 14 the United States would impose additional visa sanctions on Somali leaders if  lower house elections miss the March 15 deadline.[viii]

[i] SITE Intel Group, “After Long Period of Inactivity, IS Division in Yemen Shows Fighters Pledging to New ‘Caliph,’” March 12, 2022, available by subscription at

[ii] Khabar Agency, “A shipment of thermal missiles seized at the Yemeni border port with Oman,” March 11, 2022,

[iii] Keydmedia, “US drone strike targeting al Shabaab in Somalia killed two hundred extrimists,” March 13, 2022,

[iv] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab kills a Chinese citizen in Kenya,” March 11,2022,

[v] Goobjoog News, “Gorgor  kills 25 al Shabaab fighters, wounds 35 others in Afgoi operation,” March 14, 2022,

[vi] SomaliMemo, “Fighting erupts with Turkish-trained militia in Lower Shabelle,” March 14, 2022,

[vii] Hiraan Online, “ISIS branch in Somalia pays allegiance to new leader,” March 12, 2022,; Garowe Online, “Somalia based ISIS affiliate pledges allegiance to new leader,” March 12, 2022,

[viii] Goobjoog News, “Exclusive: US to sanction more Somali leaders over missed March 15 deadline-ambassador,” March 14, 2022,

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