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 Houthi drones attack oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia; al Houthi forces shell Hadi government-aligned forces’ camp in Dhaleh; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Hajjah

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks district headquarters in Mogadishu with SVBIED; al Shabaab attacks AMISOM base in Kismayo; Kenyan police arrest wife of DusitD2 hotel attacker

Yemen Security Brief

Multiple al Houthi drones attacked two oil pipeline pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on May 14. Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Wealth Khalid al Fatih stated that the attack caused minimal damage and did not halt the country’s oil production or exports. The attack occurred more than 500 miles from the Yemeni border.[1]

Al Houthi forces shelled a camp belonging to forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Qatabah district in Dhaleh governorate in south-central Yemen on May 14. Hadi government-aligned forces claimed that the attack did not cause casualties or damage.[2]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted multiple airstrikes on an al Houthi camp in Abs district in southern Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen on May 13. The coalition also targeted an al Houthi weapons cache in eastern Abs district on the same day.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at the Warta Nabada district headquarters in the Somali capital Mogadishu on May 14. The attack killed 14 people. Al Shabaab claimed to target police officers who were meeting at the compound.[4]

Al Shabaab militants attacked Kenyan forces at an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base in the Birolle area of Kismayo, a port city in southern Somalia, on May 13. Kenyan forces repelled the attack.[5] 

Kenyan police announced the arrest of suspected al Shabaab operative Violet Kemunto in her hometown of Kisii in southwestern Kenya on May 14. Kemunto is the wife of Ali Salim Gichunge, a Kenyan al Shabaab operative who led an assault on the DusitD2 hotel complex in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on January 15. The attack killed 21 people, including multiple foreigners.[6]

[1] “Houthi-run TV says Yemeni group targeted vital Saudi installations,” Reuters, May 14, 2019,; Aya Batrawy and Jon Gambrell, “Saudi Arabia says its oil pipeline was attacked by drones,” Associate Press, May 14, 2019; “Iranian media broadcast video of the Houthi attack on two oil facilities in Saudi Arabia,” Tahdeeth Net, May 14, 2019; and “Terrorist drone attack on two Saudi oil pumping stations,” Asharq al Awsat, May 14, 2019,

[2] “The battles are getting tougher in Dhaleh and the militias are using rockets,” Barakish, May 14, 2019,

[3] “Coalition fighters target a Houthi training camp in Hajjah, Barakish, May 14, 2019,; and “Coalition air launches a series of raids on positions of Houthi militias in Hajjah,” al Mashhad al Yemeni, May 14, 2019,

[4] “Somalia: Four killed in Mogadishu suicide explosion,” Mareeg, May 14, 2019,

[5] “Somalia’s Al Shabaab attacks on KDF base near Kismayo,” Mareeg, May 13, 2019,

[6] “Police hold woman thought to be Shabaab fugitive Violet Kemunto,” The Nation, May 14, 2019,

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