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 claims killing al Houthi militant in al Bayda governorate and urges fighters in North Africa and Sahel to increase attacks; Saudi-led coalition forces shoot down al Houthi drone over Sirwah district in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthi spokesman announces capturing most of al Jawf governorate; Hadi government forces clash with al Houthi militants in al Saleh in al Hudaydah governorate
Horn of Africa: Suspected mortar attack near Mogadishu airport
Yemen Security Brief:
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement on March 17 claiming that it killed an al Houthi militant in Tayyab in al Bayda governorate on March 12. AQAP released a separate statement on March 17 urging fighters in North Africa and the Sahel to increase attacks. AQAP also offered condolences for the death of two al Qaeda affiliated leaders killed by a French airstrike in Mali in 2019. AQAP last released a statement in late February about the group’s internal espionage problem.
Saudi-led coalition forces reportedly shot down an al Houthi drone flying over Sirwah district in Ma’rib governorate on March 18. The al Houthi drone was carrying explosives, according to local sources.
Al Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea claimed that the al Houthi movement captured several districts in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen along the Saudi border. Sarea said that the militants have not yet captured all the areas in Khub wa al Shaf district and al Hazm desert. Al Houthi militants seized al Hazm, the capital of al Jawf district in early March.
Hadi government forces clashed with al Houthi militants in al Saleh City in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on March 17. The Hadi government released a statement on March 17 claiming that its forces killed and injured al Houthi militants and destroyed al Houthi weapon storage facilities. The al Houthi militants have not yet commented on this statement.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Local Somali sources reported a suspected mortar attack near the Mogadishu airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu on March 18.
 “AQAP Claims Killing Houthi Official in Bayda Provides Photos of Body and War Spoils,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 17, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; “AQAP Rallies Fighters in North Africa and Sahel in Condolences for Slain Militants,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 18, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and Jessica Kocan, “Yemen File: AQAP Emir Rallies Group Under New Leadership Before Plotting External Attacks,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 9, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-file/AQAP-Emir-Rallies-Group-Under-New-Leadership.
 “Shooting down of a plane that was flying low over the battle in Sarawah a little while ago,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, March 18, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/160470.
 “The Houthis formally declare control of most of the al Jawf lands and fighting in the outskirts of Ma’rib,” Mareb Press, March 18, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=161836; and Pamela Makadsi and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-2-2020.
 “Dozens of Houthis are killed and wounded with renewed battles in Hodeidah,” Mareb Press, March 18, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=161837
 Harun Maruf, Twitter, March 18, 2020, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1240313335427579912.