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:  Saudi artillery fire hits humanitarian aid office in Hajjah; unidentified militants detonate IED targeting Yemeni military commander

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants seize mosque in North Eastern Province, Kenya; al Shabaab releases statement calling attention to situation of the Rohingya; Jubaland Administration announces new offensive against al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthi militants continued to exchange fire with Saudi military forces along the Yemeni-Saudi border on May 21. Saudi artillery reportedly hit an international humanitarian aid office in Midi, Hajjah, killing five refugees.[1]
  • Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting the commander of the first Yemeni military region, Abdulrahman al Halili in al Qatan, Hadramawt, on May 21. Al Halili survived the assassination attempt unharmed. Ansar al Sharia has claimed credit for previous attacks targeting al Halili.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants took over a mosque in Garissa county, North Eastern Province, Kenya, on May 21. The militants reportedly addressed the congregation for two hours before escaping. Their address allegedly criticized the Kenyan authorities and warned people not to cooperate with security forces.[3]
  • Al Shabaab released a statement on May 19 urging Muslims in southeast Asia to mobilize to help the Rohingya. The statement was titled “The Plight of the Rohingya Muslims: An Urgent Call for Action” and sought to remind Muslims of the treatment of the Muslim Rohingya by Buddhists in Myanmar, also known as Burma.[4]
  • The Jubaland Administration announced operation Jubba River on May 21. While officials did not announce a start date for the operation, they said that it would include Jubaland forces as well as African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces and was aimed at capturing al Shabaab-held areas.[5]

[1] “Saudi shells hit Yemen aid office, killing five,” Reuters, May 21, 2015. Available:
“Saudi bombing of aid office kills five refugees,” al Masdar, May 21, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Hadramawt military commander survives assassination attempt,” al Watan, May 21, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Commander of first military region survives assassination attempt, al Khabar Now, May 21, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Kenyan mosque in Garissa briefly taken by al-Shabab,” BBC, May 21. Available:
[4] “Shabaab Calls Muslims in Southeast Asia to Act in Support of Rohigya Muslims,” SITE, May 20. Available:
[5] “Somalia: ‘Jubba River offensive’ to liberate Al Shabaab-held areas in Jubaland,” Garowe Online, May 21.
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