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: Saudi-led coalition claims to intercept al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting Saudi Arabia; UN and US Envoys for Yemen meet with al Houthis in Oman; al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clash in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab encourages attacks on French and American interests in Djibouti; al Shabaab detonates IEDs in Mogadishu; al Shabaab clashes with SNA and Jubbaland State forces in Lower Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief:

The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept three al Houthi explosive-laden drones targeting Khamis Mushait city in southern Saudi Arabia on March 28. The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept two al Houthi explosive-laden drone boats launched from southwestern Yemen’s al Hudaydah port the same day.[i]

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and the US Special Envoy for Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, met with al Houthi leadership in the Omani capital of Muscat on March 26. The talks centered on international efforts to promote a permanent cease-fire in Yemen.[ii]

Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along the al Kassara and Masjah fronts in Sirwah district of central Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on March 28. Al Houthi and anti–al Houthi forces clashed along Ma’rib governorate’s al Hailan front the same day.[iii]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab’s leader Ahmad Umar called on Djiboutian citizens to target French and American interests in Djibouti on March 27. Umar condemned Djibouti’s President for maintaining security alliances with France and the United States.[iv]

Al Shabaab clashed with Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland State forces in Bar Sanguni near Kismayo city in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on March 28. Al Shabaab claimed killing 14 security force members. Jubbaland State security forces claimed capturing an al Shabaab intelligence official in Kismayo on March 25.[v]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a military official in Shibis district in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on March 27. Al Shabaab detonated an IED targeting a military official in Mogadishu on March 25.[vi]

[i] “The Arab coalition announces the destruction of two booby-trapped Houthi boats,” Al Bawaba, March 28, 2021,; and “Saudi-led coalition destroys Houthi rigged boats, drones,” Middle East Monitor, March 28, 2021,

[ii] “Yemen… A new round of talks with the Houthis in Muscat and battles raging in Marib, al Jawf, and Taiz,” Al Jazeera, March 29, 2021,

[iii] “A massive Houthi attack west of Marib… and the international movement is moving to Riyadh,” Al Arabi al Jadid, March 28, 2021,

[iv] “Shabaab Leader Labels Djibouti ‘Center of Enemy Plots,’ Calls to Attack American and French Interests,” SITE Intelligence Group, available by subscription at

[v] “Al-Shabaab attacks military base in Lower Jubba,” Radio Dalsan, March 29, 2021,;  Liibaan Jeexoow, “Attacks kill 14 soldiers north of Kismayo,” Somalimemo, March 28, 2021,; and Lauren Detter and Amelia Frederking, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 26, 2021,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 26, 2021,

[vi] Liibaan Jeexoow, “Al Shabaab claims responsibility for bombings in Mogadishu and Jowhar,” March 27, 2021,; and Liibaan Jeexoow, “ Government official killed in Daynile district,” March 25, 2021,

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