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: Suspected U.S. airstrikes targets AQAP militants in Shabwah; Saudi-led airstrikes target home of Ali Abdullah Saleh; al Houthi movement agrees to five-day ceasefire in Yemen;  al Houthis reportedly shoot down Moroccan fighter jet in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Puntland MP assassinated in Mudug region; suspected al Shabaab militants hijack vehicle in North Eastern Province, Kenya; suspected al Shabaab leaflets warn of attack in Rift Valley Province, Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suspected U.S. airstrike targeted a car in al Said, Shabwah, killing three suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants on May 9. The AQAP militants were also reportedly members of Shabwah’s Alawek tribe.[1]
  • Saudi-led airstrikes targeted the home of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital, Sana’a, on May 10. Saleh survived the strike, and on May 11, publicly announced his support for the al Houthi movement.[2]
  • The spokesman for al Houthi-allied military units announced on May 10 that the al Houthi movement agreed to the Saudi-proposed five-day ceasefire in Yemen to allow for humanitarian aid in the country. The ceasefire is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 12. Following the ceasefire announcement, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC)-controlled Tasnim News Agency announced that Iran would send a cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid to the al Houthi-controlled port of al Hudaydah, Yemen.[3]
  • Al Houthi militants released a video on May 11 portraying a Moroccan fighter jet reportedly shot down during a Saudi-led air raid on Sa’ada governorate. Moroccan military sources reported that the jet had gone missing on May 10.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unknown gunmen assassinated a Puntland member of parliament in Galkayo, Mudug region, on May 8. The victim, Said Hussein Nur, and one of his body guards were killed as they left a mosque in the city. No group has claimed responsibility for the assassination.[5]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants hijacked a vehicle travelling in Mandera County, North Eastern Province, Kenya, on May 9. Local leaders criticized the security forces in the area for reportedly being slow to react to al Shabaab activities.[6]
  • Suspected al Shabaab leaflets warning of attacks on schools were found in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Rift Valley Province, Kenya, on May 9. Security officials announced that they had increased security in the area and launched an investigation into the source of the leaflets.[7]

[2] “Yemen’s Saleh declares support for Houthi militias,” al Arabiya, May 11, 2015. Available:
“Saudi-led coalition targets ex president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s residence,” Yemen Times, May 10, 2015. Available:
“Saudi-led forces target former Yemeni president’s house in Sana’a,” Reuters, May 9, 2015. Available:
“Former Yemeni president unhurt after airstrikes target residence,” Reuters, May 10, 2015. Available:
[3] “Houthis accept five-day truce in Yemen proposed by Saudi Arabia,” Reuters, May 10, 2015. Available:
“Yemen accepts humanitarian truce: Army spokesman,” Saba, May 10, 2015. Available:
“Iran to send cargo ship to Yemen as truce takes effect,” Reuters, May 10, 2015. Available:
[4] “Yemen’s Houthis broadcast video purportedly showing downed Moroccan jet,” Reuters, May 11, 2015. Available:
“Moroccan F-16 jet from Saudi-led coalition in Yemen goes missing,” Reuters, May 11, 2015. Available:
“Pictures of Moroccan fighter jet that reportedly crashed in northern Yemen,” Barakish, May 11, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Puntland MP murdered outside mosque,” Horseed Media, May 8. Available:
[6] “KDF, border police unit on the spot after Al-Shabaab hijack miraa vehicle in Mandera,” Hiiraan Online, May 10. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab leaflets found in western Kenya,” Dalsan Radio, May 9. Available:
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