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: Yemeni Defense Ministry announces death of two Saudi AQAP militants killed in Shabwah governorate; suspected AQAP militants ambush Yemeni army patrol in Shabwah governorate; Yemeni security forces clash with AQAP militants in Shabwah governorate; unidentified gunmen ambush Yemeni Special Forces patrol in Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA forces attack al Shabaab bases in Gedo region; Kenyan Air Force launched airstrikes on al Shabaab base in Middle Jubba region; AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle region; AMISOM and Somali security forces conduct security operation in Mogadishu; unidentified assailants kill political and religious officials in Bay and Middle Shabelle regions

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni Defense Ministry announced the deaths of two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed in recent clashes with Yemeni security forces near the town of Azzan in Shabwah governorate. The militants were identified as Saudi nationals Ibrahim Hamad and Ahmed al Harbi.[1]
  • Suspected AQAP militants ambushed a Yemeni army patrol in Habban city in Shabwah governorate on May 17. One Yemeni soldier and five AQAP militants were killed in the clash.[2]
  • Yemeni security forces clashed with AQAP militants near Qarn al Sawad village in al Said district in Shabwah governorate on May 18. Five AQAP militants were killed in the clash, including a local AQAP commander identified as al Meqdad. Yemeni security forces had recently captured Qarn al Sawad village from AQAP militants on May 6.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen ambushed a Yemeni Special Forces patrol in the town of al Shihr in Hadramawt governorate on May 19. Two Special Forces members were killed and two others were injured in the attack.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces attacked al Shabaab bases near Burdhubo district in Gedo region on May 17. Burdhubo Mayor Hassan Mohamed Abdi reported that the primary objective of the operation was to break al Shabaab’s blockade of roads leading to the district. According to Abdi, the AMISOM and SNA forces effectively drove the al Shabaab militants from their positions around Burdhubo.[5]
  • Kenyan Air Force fighter jets launched airstrikes on an al Shabaab base in Jilib in Middle Jubba region on May 18. The airstrikes targeted a compound used to make explosives and a separate building inhabited by al Shabaab militants. Although a senior al Shabaab official reported zero casualties, the extent of casualties and damage caused by the airstrikes remains unclear. In response, al Shabaab militants detained four people in Jilib on May 19 for allegedly providing the Kenyans information leading to the airstrikes.[6]
  • AMISOM and SNA forces clashed with al Shabaab militants in Qoryole in Lower Shabelle region on May 19. The confrontation occurred after al Shabaab militants fired mortar shells at AMISOM troops in Qoryole, instead striking civilian businesses and residences. Although the extent of casualties from the mortar fire and ensuing fighting remains unclear, an SNA official reported that the AMISOM and SNA forces successfully repelled the attacking militants. Separately, SNA General Dahir Adan Elmi, also known as Indho Qarsho, announced on May 18 that SNA forces have killed 17 militiamen in an ongoing operation to secure and clear illegal roadblocks from the highway linking Marka and Mogadishu in Lower Shaballe region.[7]
  • AMISOM and Somali National Security and Intelligence forces carried out a security operation in the Hodan and Hawl Wadag districts of Mogadishu on May 19. The security forces disrupted transportation and raided several houses during the operations, detaining an unspecified number of people. Residents report that the security forces conducted the operation after receiving intelligence indicating an al Shabaab presence in the districts.[8]
  • Unidentified gunmen killed the deputy commissioner of Bardale district, Idris Gaamey, near his house in the Bardale district of Bay region on May 19. Separately, an explosion targeting the deputy commissioner of Mogadishu’s Heliwa district, Abshir Kaara, killed at least one person and injured another in Heliwa district on May 19. Kaara was uninjured by the explosion. Finally, unidentified assailants killed two people, including the Imam of a local mosque, in Balad in Middle Shabelle region on May 18. The motivation behind the dispersed violence remains unclear as no group has yet claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.[9]

[1] “7 al-Qaeda members killed in Yemen clashes”, News 24, May 17, 2014. Available:
[2] “Yemeni militant, four aides killed in clashes with army: defense ministry,” Reuters, May 18, 2014. Available:
[3] “Yemeni militant, four aides killed in clashes with army: defense ministry,” Reuters, May 18, 2014. Available:
“Suspected al-Qaida gunmen kill 2 security personnel in Yemen,” Xinhua, May 19, 2014. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Federal Govt forces raid Al Shabaab-held areas in Gedo region,” Garowe Online, May 17, 2014. Available:
[6] Paul Richardson and Ilya Gridneff, “Kenyan Fighter Jets Strike Militant Targets in Southern Somalia,” Bloomberg, May 18, 2014. Available:
“Warplanes strike Somali Islamist stronghold,” Garowe Online, May 18, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabaab abducts four people from Jilib town,” Bar Kulan, May 19, 2014. Available:
[7] “Al-Shabaab insurgents attack AMISOM troops in Qoryole district,” Shabelle News, May 19, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: 17 militiamen killed in roadblock clearance operations-Army Chief,” Garowe Online, May 18, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somali, AMISOM forces carry out security operations in Mogadishu,” Bar Kulan, May 19, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Security forces conduct early morning operation in Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, May 19, 2014. Available:
“Gunmen shot dead two civilians in Balad town,” Bar Kulan, May 19, 2014. Available:
“Imam killed in Bal’ad,” Dalsan Radio, May 19, 2014. Available:
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jun '14
May '14
Apr '14