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: Hadi government forces claim repelling al Houthi attacks in al Hudaydah governorate; Hadi government forces reportedly kill al Houthi militants in Dhaleh governorate

Horn of Africa: SNA claims attacking al Shabaab meetings in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle and Middle Jubba regions; KDF establishes plan for withdrawing troops from Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed repelling al Houthi advances in al Tahita district in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen on May 13. Hadi government forces previously claimed repelling an al Houthi attack in Hays district in al Hudaydah governorate on May 12.[1]

Hadi government forces reportedly targeted al Houthi militants in al Fakher in Dhaleh governorate in southern Yemen on May 12, killing two al Houthi militants and injuring one. Al Houthi militants previously clashed with Yemeni southern resistance forces in al Fakher in late April.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

The Somali National Army (SNA) claimed attacking al Shabaab meetings in Jamame and Hawiye districts in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region and in Jilib in southern Somalia’s Middle Jubba region in mid-May. The SNA claimed killing two al Shabaab commanders and six militants. US Africa Command conducted an airstrike near Jilib in early April, killing five al Shabaab militants.[3]

The Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) established a multi-step plan for withdrawing its troops from Somalia. These steps include strengthening the SNA, managing security threats along the Kenyan-Somali border, coordinating with Somalia and Ethiopia on security concerns, and working with communities to counter violent extremism. The KDF and all African Union Mission in Somalia forces are expected to withdraw their troops from Somalia by late 2021.[4]

[1] “Joint forces disrupt second al Houthi infiltration attempt within 24 hours in the mountains and incur heavy losses,” Al Amalika, May 13, 2020,; and Kalissa Azooz and Muhammad Ramadhito, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 12, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 12, 2020,

[2] “Killed and injured from the Houthi militia by fire from the National Army in Al-Dhalea,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, May 13, 2020,; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 28, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 28, 2020,

[3] “Somalia: al Shabaab Attacks Kill Key al Shabaab Militants,” Mareeg, May 12, 2020,; and Pamela Makadsi and Samuel Bloebaum, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 7, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 7, 2020,

[4] Nyambega Gisesa, “KDF draws exit plan for war in Somalia,” Nation, May 13, 2020,

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