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 Houthi forces clash with pro-Hadi forces in al Dhaleh; U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar announces peace talks in Doha, Qatar; al Houthis seize town in Lahij from pro-Hadi forces

Horn of Africa: Security operation in Middle Shabelle region; AMISOM forces withdraw from towns in Lower Shabelle region; Kenya announces increased security along Somali border

Yemen Security Brief

  • Special Security Forces (SSF) and al Houthi militants entered al Dhaleh governorate from Ibb on March 24. The al Houthi-allied SSF forces clashed with pro-Hadi militias in Sanah, al Dhaleh. Six al Houthis militants and two pro-Hadi militants died in the fighting.[1]
  • U.N. envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar announced on March 23 that Yemeni peace talks will be held in Doha, Qatar. Benomar did not say what date the talks would begin, but confirmed that any agreement from the Doha talks would ultimately be signed in Saudi Arabia. It is unclear if the al Houthi movement agreed to participate in the negotiations.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants seized the town of Kirsh in northern Lahij on March 24 following heavy fighting with pro-Hadi forces. There are no casualty reports available from the conflict.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali security forces supported by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces launched a security operation in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region on March 24. The operation reportedly comes after recent al Shabaab activity in the area.[4]
  • AMISOM forces withdrew from the villages of Aw Dheegle and Bartire, both in Lower Shabelle region on March 24. Somali National Army (SNA) forces remain in the villages to continue anti-al Shabaab operations.[5]
  • Kenya announced that it would increase security along its border with Somalia on March 23. This includes the construction of roads running the length of the border for security forces to patrol, an increased presence of security forces at border crossings, and the creation of buffer zones. This comes after al Shabaab recently conducted three attacks in Kenya within one week.[6]

Correction: A previous version of this review stated that the 33rd Armored Brigade had declared its loyalty to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. This was incorrect and has been changed in the latest version.

[1] “Six al Houthis killed during fighting in Sanah, al Dhaleh,” al Masdar, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthis seek to overthrow al Dhaleh,” al Masdar, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Al Houthis control Sanah al Dhaleh,” Barakish, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemen rivals to hold talks in Doha-Qatar,” Reuters, March 24, 2015. Available:
“Yemen negotiations, talks in Doha and signing in Riyadh,” al Masdar, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Benomar: Dialogue in Doha and signing in Riyadh,” Barakish, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s Houthis take town 100 km north of Aden,” Reuters, March 24, 2015. Available:
“Al Houthis and military seized Kirsh in Lahij,” Barakish, March 24, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “SNA&AU forces launch operation in Jowhar town,” Bar Kulan, March 24. Available:
[5] “AMISOM withdraw troops from districts in Somalia,” Dalsan Radio, March 24. Available:
[6] Bernard Momanyi, “Kenya to create buffer zone at Somalia border,” Capital FM, March 23.
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