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: Al Houthis sign aviation agreement with Iran; suspected U.S. airstrike targets AQAP members in Shabwah; Ansar al Sharia militants clash with al Houthis in al Bayda; IED kills 15 al Houthi militants in al Bayda

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab IED attack in Mogadishu; SNA and AMISOM forces attack al Shabaab in Bakool region; car bomb kills Puntland official in Mudug

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi leaders signed an aviation deal with Iran on February 28. The agreement allows Yemeni Airways and the U.S.-sanctioned Iranian airline Mahan Air to operate 14 flights a week between the two countries. An al Houthi political leader flew to Tehran on March 1 to discuss economic cooperation between al Houthi-controlled Yemen and Iran.[1]
  • A suspected U.S. airstrike killed three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in Bayhan, Shabwah on February 28. AQAP has had freedom of movement in Bayhan since temporarily seizing a military base there on February 12.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants clashed with al Houthi forces in al Bayda on February 27. Ansar al Sharia attacked al Houthi sites in al Majari and Rada’a and assassinated another al Houthi in al Bayda city. Ansar al Sharia claimed to have killed 18 al Houthis during fighting.[3]
  • Tribal militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Zahir, al Bayda on March 1. The explosion targeted an al Houthi site and reportedly killed 15 al Houthis.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab carried out an IED attack on a car carrying two police officers in Mogadishu on February 28. The two officers sustained injuries but survived the attack. Al Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the attack.[5]
  • Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces attacked al Shabaab militants in the village of Elbar, Bakool region on February 28. A government official reported that eight militants and three soldiers died in the fighting.[6]
  • A car bomb detonated in Galkayo, Mudug region killing a Puntland security official on March 1. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Shabaab has targeted Puntland officials in the past.[7]

[1] “Yemen’s Hadi says Saleh conspired with Iran to undermine power transfer deal,” Reuters, March 1, 2015. Available:
“Yemen, Iran sign MoU in air transport field,” Saba, February 28, 2015. Available: 
[2] “U.S. drone attack in Yemen kills four suspected al Qaeda militants: security sources,” Reuters, February 28, 2015. Available:
“Drone attack in Yemen kills suspected al Qaeda militants: sources,” Reuters, March 2, 2015. Available:
[3] “Ansar al Sharia in Yemen announces killing of 16 al Houthis,” al Jazeera, March 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Fifteen al Houthis killed in explosion at house in Zahir,” Aden al Ghad, March 1, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] Feisal Omar, “Somalia’s al Shabaab injures police in Mogadishu car bomb,” Reuters, February 28. Available:
“Somalia’s al Shabaab injures police in Mogadishu car bomb,” Horseed Media, February 28. Available:
[6] “Somalia: 11 killed as allied forces clash with Al Shabaab in Bakool,” Garowe Online, February 28. Available:
“Eight Al-Shabaab militants killed in Somalia,” Hiiraan Online, February 28. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Senior Police Official killed in Car bomb attack,” Horseed Media, March 1. Available:
“Senior Somali security official killed in Galkacyo,” Dalsan Radio, March 1. Available:
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