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: UN Security Council reviews progress in al Hudaydah; Arab states condemn drone attack on Saudi pipeline

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab abducts aid workers in Gedo region; al Shabaab attacks Barire town; al Shabaab detonates IED targeting SNA vehicle near Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

The UN Security Council met to review the implementation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement, which calls for the demilitarization of three Red Sea ports in Yemen, on May 15. UN monitors announced that the al Houthi movement completed initial withdrawals from the three ports in al Hudaydah governorate by May 14. Al Houthi forces continued clashing with forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in several parts of al Hudaydah governorate following the withdrawals.[1]

The Arab League, the UAE, Tunisia, and Sudan all separately condemned the  al Houthi drone attack on two Saudi ARAMCO pumping stations in central Saudi Arabia on May 14. The attack damaged a pipeline but did not cause any casualties.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants abducted two Somali employees of international aid groups in Geedweyne village near the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders in Somalia’s Gedo region on May 14. Local clan elders began negotiations with al Shabaab to secure the workers’ release shortly after the abductions.[3] 

Al Shabaab attacked Barire town in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on May 14. The Somali National Army (SNA) repelled the attack, killing 14 militants. Al Shabaab has attacked Barire, which is located 60 kilometers southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, several times since SNA forces captured the town on May 1.[4]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an SNA vehicle in the Siinka Dheer area on the outskirts of Mogadishu on May 14. The explosion killed two soldiers. [5]

[1] “Security Council to hold session on Yemen,” Barakish, May 15, 2019,; and “Fighting breaks out in Yemen’s Hodeidah as Houthi pull out,” Reuters, May 14, 2019,

[2] “UAE ‘strongly condemns’ attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil pumping stations,” Emirates News Agency, May 15, 2019,; “Sudan condemns drone attacks on Saudi oil pipelines,” Emirates News Agency, May 14, 2019,; “International Condemnation of drone attack against Saudi pumping stations,” Emirates News Agency, May 14, 2019,; and Vivian Yee, “Yemen’s Houthi rebels attack Saudi oil facilities, escalating tensions in Gulf,” The New York Times, May 14, 2019,

[3] “Search underway for relief workers in Somalia,” Garowe, May 15, 2019,

[4] “Somali Military Says 14 Al Shabaab Killed in Fighting,” Mareeg, May 15, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 10, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 10, 2019,

[5] “4 Killed in Mogadishu District HQ Blast,” May 14, 2019,

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