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 militants clash with pro-Hadi forces in Aden; Operation Decisive Storm continues to target al Houthi military targets in Yemen; al Houthis and 33rd Armored Brigade clash with pro-Hadi forces in al Dhaleh; al Houthis and 115th Brigade seize Zinjibar from pro-Hadi forces

Horn of Africa: Three women arrested trying to join al Shabaab; al Shabaab claims responsibility March 27 Mogadishu Hotel attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants continued fighting with forces loyal to Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Aden city, Aden, through March 30. The clashes are currently focused in Dar Saad, Aden, after pro-Hadi forces retook Aden International Airport and Badr Military Camp. Egyptian naval ships reportedly shelled a convoy of al Houthi reinforcements heading towards Aden city on March 30, killing an unspecified number of militants.[1]
  • Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm continued airstrikes on al Houthi targets in Yemen from March 28-30, including daytime raids on the capital, Sana’a, on March 30. Strikes likewise targeted al Houthi-controlled weapons depots in Sa’ada, Mocha city, Taiz, al Subahah military base in Sana’a, and Bayhan, Shabwah. A coalition airstrike also hit al Mazraq refugee camp in Hajja, northern Yemen on March 30, killing a reported 45 people. [2]
  • Al Houthi militants allied with the 33rd Armored Brigade clashed with Southern Movement militants and pro-Hadi forces in the city of al Dhaleh, al Dhaleh on March 30. Reports indicate that the al Houthi forces entered al Dhaleh city after nearly a week of ongoing clashes in the surrounding areas. A reported eight people died in the fighting.[3]
  • Al Houthi militants and the al Houthi-allied 115th Brigade reportedly seized control of Zinjibar, Abyan on March 29. An estimated 20 people were killed in the fighting. Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, is a center for pro-Hadi forces in the governorate.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan security forces arrested three women attempting to cross the border into Somalia in Mandera county, North Eastern province, Kenya on March 27. The three were allegedly attempting join al Shabaab. A Kenyan court ruled on March 30 to hold the women for an additional 20 days for police to investigate.[5]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamed Rage issued a statement on March 28 following the March 27 hotel attack in Mogadishu that killed at least 20. In the statement, Rage claimed responsibility for the attack as well as threatened further attacks.[6]

[1] “Egyptian navy destroys military convoy heading towards Aden,” March 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Pro-Hadi forces retake Aden Airport,” Twitter, Yemen Updates, March 28, 2015. Available:
“Heavy fighting in Yemen’s Aden as al Houthis approach from the east,” Reuters, March 30, 2015. Available:
Mohammed Albasha via Twitter, March 29, 2015. Available:
[2] “Strikes pound Houthi targets in Yemen’s Shabwah,” al Arabiya, March 29, 2015. Available:
“Arab coalition airstrike kills 15 Yemeni rebel troops,” al Arabiya, March 29, 2015. Available:
“Airstrikes destroy arms depots in Sana’a, Sa’ada,” al Arabiya, March 30, 2015. Available:
“45 dead in airstrike on Yemen displaced camp,” UK News, March 30, 2015. Available:
[3] “33rd Armored Brigade rolls into al Dhaleh,” Barakish, March 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Saleh and al Houthi troops enter al Dhaleh, al Masdar, March 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis and allied-military units seize Zinjibar, Abyan,” March 30, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“115th Infantry Brigade withdraws from Zinjibar after Saudi airstrikes,” March 29, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] Philip Muyanga, “Women arrested en route to Somalia to remain in cells,” Daily Nation, March 30. Available:
[6] “Shabaab Claims Raid on Maka-al-Mukarama Hotel in Mogadishu, Threatens More Attacks,” SITE, March 28. Available:
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