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 forces conduct airstrikes on Sana’a after al Houthis launch missiles toward Riyadh; Hadi government forces capture and kill al Houthis in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthis clash with Hadi government forces in al Jawf governorate; Saudi-led coalition forces conduct airstrikes targeting al Houthis in Hajjah governorate; al Houthis shell civilian targets in al Dhaleh governorate
Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrike killing two al Shabaab militants in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab militant detonates suicide vest killing regional governor in northern Somalia; Somaliland security forces possibly capture IS Somalia deputy leader; AMISOM establishes quarantine in Mogadishu base over coronavirus
Yemen Security Brief:
Saudi-led coalition forces conducted airstrikes targeting the al Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sana’a on March 30, killing and injuring several dozen horses at a military school. The airstrikes came after al Houthi militants launched two ballistic missiles toward the Saudi capital Riyadh on March 28. The al Houthi movement and Saudi-led coalition forces voiced support for the UN’s call to a nationwide cease-fire in Yemen to address the coronavirus on March 25.
Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed capturing an al Houthi field commander in Sirwah district in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen on March 29. Hadi government forces reportedly took the field commander to an undisclosed location in Ma’rib governorate. Hadi government forces also killed an al Houthi militant responsible for recruitment and four others in Sirwah district on March 28, according to local sources. Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi militants in Sirwah district on March 24.
Al Houthi militants and Hadi government forces clashed in Khub wa al Shaf district in al Jawf governorate in northern Yemen on March 28. Hadi government forces claimed killing several al Houthi militants. Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes on al Houthi militants in Khub wa al Shaf district on March 25.
Saudi-led coalition forces conducted airstrikes targeting al Houthi militants in Abs and Mustaba districts in Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen on March 28, according to local sources.
Al Houthi militants shelled civilian targets in al Hashah district in al Dhaleh governorate on March 28. United Arab Emirates-backed Southern Transitional Council forces claimed bombing al Houthi militant sites in al Dhaleh governorate in mid-March.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab near Buulo Fuulay in south-central Somalia’s Bay region on March 27. The strike killed two militants. AFRICOM conducted a series of airstrikes in support of a Somali National Army operation to retake Janaale from al Shabaab in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region in mid-March.
An al Shabaab militant detonated a suicide vest killing a Somali regional governor in Garowe, the capital of northern Somalia’s Puntland State, on March 29. The blast also wounded a former Puntland State regional police commander and a civilian. Local media reported that al Shabaab has not attacked Garowe since 2015.
A local Somali journalist reported that Somaliland security forces may have captured the Islamic State (IS) in Somalia’s deputy leader Ahmed Aden in Las’anod in northern Somalia’s Sool region.
The African Union Mission to Somalia established a quarantine in its Halane military base in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on March 29, after a foreign contractor tested positive for the coronavirus. Somalia’s Health Minister announced the contractor's diagnosis on March 27, marking Somalia’s third confirmed coronavirus case since March 16.
 “Air strikes hit Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa: witnesses,” Reuters, March 30, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/air-strikes-hit-houthi-held-yemeni-capital-sanaa-witnesses-idUSKBN21H1GY; “Saudi intercepts missiles in attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthis,” Reuters, March 28, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-riyadh-rockets/missiles-intercepted-above-saudi-capital-and-city-of-jazan-state-media-idUSKBN21F0XJ; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 27, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 27, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-27-2020.
 “Al Houthi field leader captured and 47 other al Houthis killed in sirwah front,” Khabar Agency, March 29, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news124404.html; “Al Houthi militant responsible for supply and recruitment killed in Sirwah,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, March 28, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/161423; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 27, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-24-2020.
 “Army forces surprised al Houthis with surprise attack in al Jawf,” Mareb Press, March 28, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=162175; and Samuel Bloebaum and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 25, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 25, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-25-2020.
 “Al Houthi militia shells civilian homes with artillery and launch kidnappings on people in southern al Hashah,” SMA News, March 28, 2020, https://smanews.org/news/179668; and Jessica Kocan and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 19, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-19-2020.
 “Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM target al-Shabaab,” US Africa Command, March 28, 2020, https://www.africom.mil/media-room/pressrelease/32656/federal-government-of-somalia-africom-target-al-shabaab; and Jessica Kocan and Pamela Makadsi, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - March 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, March 19, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-19-2020.
 “Somalia: Suicide bombing kills governor, wounds former police chief in Garowe,” Garowe, March 30, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/puntland/somalia-suicide-bombing-wounds-governor-and-former-police-chief-in-garowe; and "Shabaab Claims Assassination of Nugaal Governor in Rare Attack in Garowe," SITE Intelligence Group, March 30, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
 Abdiqani Hassan, Twitter, March 30, 2020, https://twitter.com/Abdiqanihassan/status/1244642695102058496.
 “AU forces in Somalia close Halane camp after Covid-19 case,” Somali Affairs, March 29, 2020, https://www.somaliaffairs.com/news/au-forces-in-somalia-close-halane-camp-after-covid-19-case/; and “Somalia announces third confirmed Covid-19 case,” Somali Affairs, March 27, 2020, https://www.somaliaffairs.com/news/somalia-announces-third-confirmed-covid-19-case/.