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: AQAP gunmen attack Shabwah Defense Forces checkpoint; US Special Envoy for Yemen travels to Saudi Arabia and Oman to build on UN truce; UN Special Envoy to Yemen briefs UN Security Council on renewed diplomatic momentum

Somalia: Al Shabaab targets government officials in SVBIED attack in southwestern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) gunmen targeted a 5th Shabwani Defense Forces Brigade checkpoint with small arms and grenades at the al Safra point, Bayhan district, Shabwah governorate, Yemen on March 14.[i] The Shabwah Defense Forces reported that the AQAP gunmen killed three soldiers.[ii] AQAP claimed that they killed four Shabwah Defense soldiers.[iii]

The US State Department announced that US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking traveled to Saudi Arabia and Oman on March 14 to “build on the UN-mediated truce” with local and international partners.[iv]

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg briefed the UN Security Council on the state of the Yemeni conflict on March 15.[v] Grundberg described “renewed regional diplomatic momentum” and urged the belligerent parties to build on the recent Saudi-Iranian deal which restored diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Somalia Security Brief

Al Shabaab launched a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack targeting government officials in Bardhere district, Gedo region, southwestern Somalia, on March 14.[vi] The attacker drove the vehicle into a guesthouse where government officials had gathered to discuss anti-al Shabaab operations.[vii] Somali press outlets reported the attack killed at least nine people and injured 11 others, including the Gedo governor.[viii] Al Shabaab claimed they killed at least 13 people and injured 20 others.[ix]

[i] Mareb Press, “Soldiers of the “Shabwa Defense” were killed in an armed attack targeting a military post,” March 14, 2023,

[ii] Twitter, Shabwa Defense Forces, March 14, 2023

[iii] SITE Intelligence Group, AQAP Claims killing 4 in Attack on Shabwa Defense Forces, March 15, 2023,

[iv] US Department of State Office of the Spokesperson, “US Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking’s Travel to Oman and Saudi Arabia,” March 14, 2023,

[v] Michelle Nichols, “UN sees renewed momentum toward Yemen peace spurred by Saudi, Iran deal,” March 15, 2023, Reuters,

[vi] Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab targets Somalia officials in deadly attack,” March 14, 2023,

[vii] Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab targets Somalia officials in deadly attack”

[viii] AP News, “Witnesses say extremist attack in Somalia kills at least 9,” March 14, 2023,; Caasimada, “Al-Shabaab targets Somalia officials in deadly attack”

[ix] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims Preemptive Strike on Somali Officials in Coordinated Suicide Bombing and Mortar Shelling in Bardhere,” March 14, 2023, Available by subscription at

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