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: Saudi-led coalition claims to intercept al Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia; al Houthi movement rejects US ceasefire proposal; al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab claims SVBIED attack in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab interviews former prisoners from Bari region; al Shabaab executes alleged spies and attacks SNA base in Gedo region; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting SNA in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
The al Houthi movement claimed to target King Khalid Airbase and Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia’s Asir region with three Qasef-2 drones on March 15. The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept an al Houthi drone launched toward Khamis Mushait city the same day. The coalition previously claimed to intercept an al Houthi drone targeting southern Saudi Arabia on March 9.[i]
A spokesman for the al Houthi movement rejected a US cease-fire proposal on March 12, stating it represented UN and Saudi interests. He said the proposal did not include a cease-fire and that it would not eliminate the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade on Yemeni ports.[ii]
Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along the al Masjah front in Sirwah district of central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on March 15. Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces also clashed along the Kassara and Mas fronts in Ma’rib governorate the same day.[iii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
Al Shabaab claimed to kill US-trained Somali special forces in a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in Toratorow in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on March 15. Somali government officials claimed Somali security forces thwarted the attack by killing the militant before he detonated the vehicle.[iv]
Al Shabaab released two interviews with former prisoners on March 13 and 14, respectively. Al Shabaab released the prisoners during a raid on a prison in Boosaaso city in northern Somalia’s Bari region on March 5.[v]
Al Shabaab executed four alleged spies reporting to foreign intelligence agencies in El Adde district in southern Somalia’s Gedo region on March 14. Al Shabaab attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Luuq town in Gedo region on the same day. The SNA claimed to repel the attack and kill several militants.[vi]
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting SNA officers near the Afgoi corridor in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on March 13. Al Shabaab detonated an IED targeting a COVID-19 awareness team in the capital on March 10.[vii]
[i] “The Houthis announce the targeting of three drones at Abha airport and King Khalid base in southern Saudi Arabia,” Al Jazeera, March 15, 2021, https://www.aljazeera.net/news/politics/2021/3/15/%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%85%d8%aa%d8%ad%d8%af%d8%ab-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b9%d8%b3%d9%83%d8%b1%d9%8a-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b3%d9%85-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ad%d9%88%d8%ab%d9%8a%d9%8a%d9%86-2; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 10, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 10, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-10-2021.
[ii] Jonathan Landay and Daphne Psaledakis, “US Yemen envoy says ceasefire plan before Houthi leadership, urges response,” Reuters, March 12, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2B41WV; and “Yemen’s Houthis spokesman says the American proposal has nothing,” Reuters, March 12, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN2B42FA.
[iii] “Yemen gov’t forces launch powerful counter-offensive to retake lost areas in Marib,” AMN al Masdar News, March 15, 2021, https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/yemeni-govt-forces-launch-powerful-counter-offensive-to-retake-lost-areas-in-marib/; “Marib… The army forces regain a number of sites after violent battles with Houthis at dawn today,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, March 15, 2021, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/197646.
[iv] “Shabaab Claims Suicide Bombing Thwarted Operation by Somali and Foreign Forces in Toratorow,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 15, 2021, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and “Somali government forces set fire to a car bomb,” Mareeg, March 15, 2021, https://mareeg.com/ciidanka-dowladda-oo-maanta-gubay-gaari-qaraxyo-siday-kuna-soo-jeeday/.
[v] Liibaan Jeexoow “Listen: 2nd Ring Interview with the Prisoners Released from Bossaso Prison,” Somalimemo, March 15, 2021, https://somalimemo.info/articles/14393/Dhageyso-Xalqada-2aad-Ee-Wareysiyada-Maxaabiistii-lagasoo-xureeyay-Xabsiga-Boosaaso; “Radio Andalus promises interviews with prisoners in Bossaso Central Prison,” Calamada, March 13, 2021, http://calamada.com/idaacadda-andalus-oo-ballan-qaaday-wareysiyada-maxaabiistii-xabsiga-ugu-weyn-boosaaso/; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 5, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 5, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-5-2021.
[vi] Liibaan Jeexoow “Listen: Four spies were killed in Ceel Adde district in Gedo region,” Somalimemo, March 15, 2021, https://somalimemo.info/articles/14391/Dhageyso-Afar-ruux-Jawaasiis-oo-lagu-dilay-degmada-Ceel-Cadde-ee-gobolka-Gedo; and “SNA says it killed 15 Al-Shabaab militants in Luuq town,” Hiiraan, March 15, 2021, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2021/Mar/181988/sna_says_it_killed_15_al_shabaab_militants_in_luuq_town.aspx.
[vii] Liibaan Jeexoow, “Al Shabaab claims responsibility for explosion near Afisyon,” Somalimemo, March 14, 2021, https://somalimemo.info/articles/14385/Al-Shabaab-oo-sheegtay-masuuliyadda-qarax-ka-dhacay-agagaarka-Afisyooni; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 12, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 12, 2021, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-12-2021.