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 claim drone attack targeting Saudi Arabia; Saudi-led coalition allows fuel ships into al Hudaydah port; al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Taiz governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates IED in Lamu County; al Shabaab documents educational initiatives in Bay and Bakool regions; suspected al Shabaab militants plant IED and attack Kenyan police camp in Mandera County

Yemen Security Brief:

The al Houthi movement claimed launching a Qasef-2K drone toward Abha airport in Asir region in southern Saudi Arabia on March 23. The al Houthi movement claimed to launch drones targeting oil facilities in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, on March 19.[i] 

The Saudi-led coalition allowed four fuel ships to dock at western Yemen’s port of al Hudaydah on March 24. The al Houthi movement previously claimed it would only sign a cease-fire proposal if Saudi Arabia “completely” lifts the air, land, and sea blockade in Yemen.[ii]

Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along the al Shaqab and al Faroush fronts in southwestern Yemen’s Taiz governorate on March 24. Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces previously clashed along the al Akhum front in Taiz governorate’s Haifan district on March 23.[iii]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a water tank near Kiunga town in southeastern Kenya’s Lamu County on March 23. The water tanker was destined for a construction site at the Somali-Kenyan border where the Kenyan government is building a security wall between the two countries.[iv]

Al Shabaab released a second video documenting a shari’a legal studies competition for students in Somalia’s Bay and Bakool regions on March 22. The tribal leader chairing the competition thanked al Shabaab for its investment in regional educational initiatives. Al Shabaab released a video showcasing the first part of the competition on March 15.[v]

Suspected al Shabaab militants planted an IED targeting a bus traveling from Lafey town in northeastern Kenya’s Mandera County on March 24. Al Shabaab fired rocket propelled grenades toward a Kenyan police camp in Sheikh Barrow in Mandera County on March 21.[vi] 

[i] “A day after the Riyadh initiative… the Houthis announce the bombing of the Saudi Arabia airport,” Al Jazeera, March 23, 2021,; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 22, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 22, 2021,

[ii] “Saudi-led coalition lets four fuel ships dock at Yemen’s Hodeidah port- sources,” Reuters, March 24, 2021,  

[iii] “Yemeni forces fail to advance to the Saudi aggression in Taiz,” Al Alam, March 24, 2021,; and “Dozens of militia were killed and wounded in al Ahgum, southeast of Taiz,” 26 Sep News, March 23, 2021,  

[iv] Cheti Praxides, “Al Shabaab militants kill one in Lamu IED attack,” The Star, March 23, 2021,; and “Kenya: Construction of Kenya Somalia Border Wall Resumed,” Shabelle Media Network on All Africa, August 24, 2020,

[v] Liibaan Jeexoow, “Watch: Part 2 of the Bay and Bakool Sharia Institutions Competition,” Somalimemo, March 22, 2021,; “At Conclusion of Shabaab-held Shariah Knowledge Competition for Children, Winners Praise Fighters in Video,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 23, 2021, available by subscription at; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 17, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 17, 2021,

[vi] “4 killed, dozens injured in bus attack in northeastern Kenya,” Xinhua, March 24, 2021,; and Cyrus Ombati and Nuru Soud, “Police repulse al-Shabaab attempt to attack camp in Mandera,” The Star, March 23, 2021,

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