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: Blinken condemns Houthi attack; Saudi-led coalition resumes airstrikes on Houthi positions in three governorates; Houthis launch ballistic missile targeting southwestern Saudi Arabia

Somalia: Al Shabaab raids Halane Base in Mogadishu; al Shabaab captures military base in central Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets Ethiopian AMISOM base in southern Somalia; the United States issues a $5 million bounty for key al Shabaab operative

 

Yemen Security Brief:

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the Houthis’ March 20 missile and drone attack on western Saudi Arabia on March 21.[i]

The Saudi-led coalition announced it would resume airstrikes on Houthi positions in Ma’rib, al Jawf, and Saada governorates, northern Yemen, on March 22.[ii] The coalition paused airstrikes for two days to encourage the Houthis to participate in Gulf Cooperation Council-sponsored peace talks. The Houthis initially refused to participate in talks on March 15 but issued new conditions for its participation on March 16.[iii]

The Houthis launched at least one ballistic missile targeting Jizan region, southwestern Saudi Arabia, on March 22.[iv] Saudi air defenses intercepted the missile. The attack did not cause any casualties.

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab raided Halane base at Aden Adde International Airport, Mogadishu, central Somalia, on March 23.[v] Al Shabaab targeted United Nations (UN) offices, Western embassies, and foreign diplomats. Al Shabaab claimed they killed at least five foreign nationals and one Somali individual. Security forces said they killed two al Shabaab militants.

Al Shabaab captured a military base in Teedan, Beledweyne district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on March 22.[vi]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in Dinsor, Bay region, southern Somalia, on March 22.[vii] Al Shabaab claimed the IED killed three soldiers and wounded four others.

The US State Department issued a $5 million bounty for key al Shabaab operative Jehad Serwan Mostafa aka Ahmed Gurey.[viii] Mostafa is a U.S. citizen and former resident of California. He worked as an al Shabaab military instructor, led foreign fighters, worked in the group’s media wing, acted as an intermediary between al-Shabaab and other terrorist organizations, and assisted the group’s use of explosives in attacks.


[i] @SecBlinken, Twitter, March 21, 2022, https://twitter.com/SecBlinken/status/1505966792698699779?s=20&t=d-j6NtVXO-0Z8m9OCsfVrg.

[ii] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “A sudden decision by the Arab coalition regarding the Houthis after the cessation of its military operations,” March 22, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/228285.

[iii] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 16, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-16-2022#_edn8c26e4c7890d59e203136039f81e3c8b20e85d6f29e96c5793ba40b9fbc8da614; Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 19, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-18-2022.

[iv] Al Araby Al Jadid, “The Houthis resume their attacks on Saudi Arabia after a day of hiatus,” March 22, 2022, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/node/3707961.

[v] Seynab Abukar, “Six killed in al Shabaab attack on Aden Adde International Airport,” March 23, 2022, https://www.voasomali.com/a/6497257.html.

[vi] Garowe Online, Twitter, March 22, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1506300356036382723.

[vii] Somalimemo, “Heavy blast targets Ethiopian troops on the outskirts of Dinsor,” March 23, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16128/Qarax-Xoogan-oo-Ciidamada-Itoobiya-Lagula-Eegtay-Duleedka-Diinsoor.

[viii] US Department of State, “Jehad Serwan Mostafa,” March 23, 2022, https://rewardsforjustice.net/rewards/jehad-serwan-mostafa/.

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