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: Islamic State in Yemen targets AQAP with rocket in central Yemen; U.S. Ambassador to Yemen says U.S. will not establish diplomatic presence in Aden; Yemeni Foreign Minister protests meeting between UN bodies and al Houthi movement in letter to UN Secretary-General

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks SNA base in Lower Shabelle region; drought conditions worsen in Somaliland and Puntland

Yemen Security Brief

The Islamic State in Yemen claimed to fire a rocket at al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) positions in lower Dhi Kalib al Asfal village in the Qayfa area in northern al Bayda governorate on March 19.[1]

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller announced that the United States would not create a diplomatic presence in Aden because the U.S. does not wish to give the impression it supports a “divided Yemen” in a press conference delivered in Aden city on March 21. Tueller criticized the al Houthi movement for “delays and stalling” of implementation of the Stockholm Agreement. The statement follows the Russian Ambassador to Yemen’s announcement that the Russian government plans to open a consulate in Aden on March 19. Tueller also met with the Hadi government Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ahmed al Maysiri to discuss the levels of cooperation between the two countries while in Aden.[2]

Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al Yamani submitted a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on March 20 criticizing the United Nations Verification and Inspection for Yemen and the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen for meeting with representatives of the al Houthi movement in Sana’a city, Yemen’s capital, on March 16. Al Yamani alleged that the meeting violated the sovereignty of the Hadi government, which he said has exclusive authority over the ports of al Hudaydah. Khalid al Yamani demanded written assurance from UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths that the UN Special Envoy would not bypass its mandate and encroach upon the sovereignty of the Hadi government again.[3]

Al Houthi forces fired a Zilzal-1 missile targeting a camp under the control of Hadi-aligned forces in al Jada’an district in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Bulo-Marer in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on March 20. The SNA forces rebuffed the attack after several hours and remain in the base.[5]

Oxfam reported that drought conditions have worsened significantly in Puntland and Somaliland in recent months. An estimated 1.7 million residents require humanitarian assistance in Somaliland.[6]

Visit our Yemen, Russia, and Somalia story streams.

[1] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, March 20, 2019,

[2] Maher Chmaytelli and Ghaida Ghantou, “U.S. envoy blames Houthis for Yemen peace deal delays,”  Reuters, March 21, 2019,; and “Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior meets U.S. Ambassador to Yemen,” Aden al Ghad, March 21, 2019,

[3] “Yemen protests UN over UN envoy’s excesses,” Khabar News Agency, March 21, 2019,

[4] “Rocket Zilzal 1 downs gatherings of mercenaries north of Sarawah in Marib,” 26 Sep Net, March 21, 2019,

[5] “Al Shabaab attack Buulo-Mareer, Lower Shabelle,” Goobjoog, March 21, 2019,

[6] “Somalia: Poor rains, persisting drought deepens crisis in Somalia and Somaliland,” Oxfam, March 20, 2019,

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