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: Wall Street Journal reports Houthis agree to stop arming Houthis; Houthi ambassador to Iran meets with Iranian Foreign Minister to discuss bilateral cooperation; STC-backed forces stop Saudi military convoy at STC checkpoint, likely AQAP IED attack targets STC-backed supply patrol

Somalia: SNA and KDF agree to collaborate against al Shabaab; Somalia and the United States agree to continue providing resources to the US-trained Danab special forces

Yemen Security Brief

The Wall Street Journal reported on March 16 that Iran has agreed to stop arming the Houthis in Yemen as part of the recent deal to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.[i]

Houthi Ambassador to Iran Ibrahim al Dailami met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian on March 15 to discuss ways to deepen cooperation between the Houthis and Iran.[ii]

An Aden-based journalist reported that Southern Transitional Council (STC) -backed forces stopped a Saudi military convoy from entering a security checkpoint in Aden, Yemen on March 15.[iii]

A southern Yemeni newspaper reported that a likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) IED targeted an STC-backed 1st Support and Reinforcement Brigade supply convoy in al Mahfad district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on March 17.[iv]

Somalia Security Brief

The Somali National Army and Kenyan Defense Force chiefs agreed to share military intelligence and collaborate on counter-al Shabaab operations in Somalia and Kenya during a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 16.[v] The Somali national security advisor announced on March 2 that a joint operation between Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia would commence within eight weeks.[vi] This joint operation will be the second phase of the Somali government’s counterterrorism offensive.[vii]

The Somali defense minister and the US ambassador to Somalia agreed to provide additional training and equipment to the US-trained Danab special forces operating against al Shabaab in Somalia during a meeting on March 16.[viii]

[i] Wall Street Journal, “Iran Agrees to Stop Arming Houthis in Yemen as Part of Pact with Saudi Arabia,” March 16, 2023,

[ii] SABA News Agency (Houthi), “Discussing aspects of cooperation between Yemen and Iran,” March 15, 2023,

[iii] Twitter, @MuradAbdo22, March 15, 2023,

[iv] Aden Time, “Sources: Wounded heroes of the Southern Forces in a terrorist bombing in al Mahfad,” March 17, 2023,

[v] Halbeeg, “Somalia, Kenya to intensify fight against Al-Shabaab,” March 16, 2023,

[vi] Harun Maruf, “Somalia's Neighbors to Send Additional Troops to Fight Al-Shabab,” Voice of America, March 2, 2023,

[vii] Critical Threats Project at American Enterprise Institute, “Gulf of Aden Review – March 3, 2023,” March 3, 2023,

[viii] Shabelle Media, “Somalia, US ink pact to build Danab as part of war on Al-Shabaab,” March 16, 2023, ; Goobjoog News, “Somalia, US sign security deal,” March 16, 2023,

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