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 Houthis meet with Iranian deputy foreign minister virtually; al Houthis reportedly advance in al Bayda governorate
Horn of Africa: SNA kills al Shabaab officers in Middle Jubba region; Puntland security forces foil IS attack in Boosaaso; Galmudug police commander resigns after police allegedly release al Shabaab militants
Yemen Security Brief:
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Asghar Khaji reportedly met with an al Houthi delegation through a video call on May 9, according to Iranian media. The two parties discussed UN-led peace negotiations in Yemen, including al Houthi demands to lift the Saudi-led coalition land, sea, and, air blockade in Yemen and re-opening the airport in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Iran has previously advised the al Houthi movement on its military tactics and political organization.
Al Houthi militants reportedly advanced toward Qaniya in al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on May 11. Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi control Qaniya, which borders Hadi’s government last stronghold in northern Yemen, Ma’rib governorate. Hadi government forces killed a senior al Houthi commander during clashes between Ma’rib and al Bayda governorates on May 7.
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
The Somali National Army reportedly killed three al Shabaab officials near Buale in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region on May 10. Al Shabaab executed six alleged spies in Buale in late March.
Puntland State security forces reportedly foiled an Islamic State attack in Boosaaso in Bari region in northern Somalia’s Puntland State on May 9, killing at least two militants. The Islamic State in Somalia assassinated a Puntland State police officer in Boosaaso in late February.
A senior police commander in central Somalia’s Galmudug state resigned on May 8 after accusing unnamed officials of releasing al Shabaab detainees. He stated that it is pointless to continue arresting militants when they are subsequently released. The Kenyan National Intelligence Service publicized a report in mid-April over alleged suspicious relations between the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency and al Shabaab.
 “Iranian high-level Houthi meeting,” Mareb Press, May 9, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=163410; “Zarif's top aide is holding talks with Ansar Allah's spokesman on Yemen's developments,” Tasnim News Agency, May 10, 2020, https://www.tasnimnews.com/ar/news/2020/05/10/2262686/%da%a9%d8%a8%db%8c%d8%b1-%d9%85%d8%b3%d8%a7%d8%b9%d8%af%db%8c-%d8%b8%d8%b1%db%8c%d9%81-%db%8c%d8%ac%d8%b1%db%8c-%d9%85%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%ad%d8%ab%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d9%85%d8%b9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%85%d8%aa%d8%ad%d8%af%d8%ab-%d8%a8%d8%a7%d8%b3%d9%85-%d8%a3%d9%86%d8%b5%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%84%d9%87-%d8%ad%d9%88%d9%84-%d8%aa%d8%b7%d9%88%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%a7%d9%84%db%8c%d9%85%d9%86; and Katherine Zimmerman, “Iran’s man in Yemen and the al Houthis,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, January 17, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/irans-man-in-yemen-and-the-al-houthis.
 “Sources: Al-Houthi militia is making progress in Al-Bayda and penetrating into the Qaniya area (details),” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, May 11, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/165819; and Muhammad Ramadhito and Kalissa Azooz, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 8, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-8-2020.
 “Gov’t troops kill Al-Shabab fighters in Operation, middle juba region,” Goobjoog, May 11, 2020, http://goobjoog.com/english/govt-troops-kill-al-shabab-fighters-in-operation-middle-juba-region/; and Samuel Bloebaum and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – March 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 10, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-march-31-2020.
 “Puntland president lauds police for averting ISIS attack,” Radio Shabelle, May 10, 2020, https://www.radioshabelle.com/puntland-president-lauds-police-for-averting-isis-attack/; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 8, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 8, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-8-2020.
 “Somalia: Police commander resigns after accusing colleagues of releasing al Shabaab detainees,” Garowe, May 9, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-police-commander-resigns-after-accusing-colleagues-of-releasing-al-shabaab-detainees; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 17, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-17-2020.