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: U.S. Secretary of State reaffirms U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s security and a political solution to the Yemen conflict; new al Houthi Supreme Political Council President meets with local Sana’a governorate leaders in Sana’a city; Saudi-led coalition airstrike destroys al Houthi operations room in al Bayda governorate

Horn of Africa: KDF rescues al Shabaab recruits in Ras Kamboni, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack SNA forces in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated ongoing American support for Saudi Arabia’s security and the need for a political solution to the Yemeni conflict during a joint statement with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on April 29. Pompeo highlighted Iran’s support of the al Houthi movement as an example of the failure of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Pompeo also stressed that U.S. homeland security is at risk as long as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) continue to exploit the security and political vacuum in Yemen. [1]

Al Houthi Supreme Political Council President Mahdi al Mashat met with tribal dignitaries and senior officials from the districts of Sana’a governorate in Sana’a city on April 30. Al Mashat discussed the role those local leaders play in confronting adversaries of the al Houthi movement. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed former Supreme Political Council president Saleh al Samad in al Hudaydah city on April 19. Al Samad had been meeting with local leaders to urge them to support al Houthi forces.[2]

A Saudi-led coalition airstrike destroyed an al Houthi operations room in Arqub area, al Sawma district, eastern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on April 30, according to the head of the media center of the resistance in al Bayda Mustafa al Baydani.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) rescued 13 al Shabaab recruits in Ras Kamboni, Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia on April 29. Al Shabaab recruited the thirteen boys from Kilifi and Lamu counties in eastern Kenya on March 26. Al Shabaab recruiters promised the boys fishing jobs in Somalia. The KDF has rescued about 1,100 al Shabaab recruits since 2011.[4]

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) forces in Mogadishu, central Somalia on May 1. Militants targeted SNA soldiers with a grenade in Wadajir district. Al Shabaab claimed to kill and injure several soldiers with the blast. Al Shabaab militants also assassinated a Somali intelligence agent in Sinka Dheer in Kahda district. Al Shabaab frequently targets Somali government personnel in the capital.[5] 

[1] “Remarks With Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir,” U.S. Department of State, April 29, 2018,
[2] “President of the Supreme Political Council meets with elders of the districts of the capital Sana'a,” Saba News, April 30, 2018,
[3] “Coalition destroys the Houthi room of operations in al Bayda,” Okaz, May 1, 2018,; and “The army is advancing in Sa’ada and the coalition is bombing al Bayda,” Aden Tomorrow, May 1, 2018,
[4] “KDF troops rescue 13 al Shabaab recruits in Somalia,” The Star, April 30, 2018,; “KDF Rescues 13 Kenyan AlShabaab Recruits In Somalia,” Radio Dalsan, May 1, 2018,; and “Kenya says KDF troops rescue 13 Al Shabaab recruits in Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, May 1, 2018,
[5] “Al-Shabab claims killing soldiers in separate Mogadishu attacks,” Radio Shabelle, May 1, 2018,; Al Shabaab claims to kill and injure SNA soldiers with grenade in Wadajir district in Mogadishu, Telegram, May 1, 2018; and Al Shabaab militants assassinate Somali intelligence agent in Sinka Dheer, Telegram, May 1, 2018.

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