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 drone attacks airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia; World Food Programme considers suspending aid in al Houthi-controlled territory; Hadi government-aligned forces shoot down al Houthi drone in Dhaleh governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks SNA base in Bakool region; EU High Representative for Foreign Policy visits Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

An al Houthi drone attacked the Najran Regional Airport in Najran city in southwestern Saudi Arabia on May 21. Al Houthi-affiliated al Masirah TV claimed that the attack targeted a weapons depot at the airport. The Saudi-led coalition claimed that the attack targeted a civilian facility.[1]

The World Food Programme announced on May 20 that it will consider a phased suspension of all aid deliveries in al Houthi-controlled territory. The World Food Programme stated that the al Houthi movement has interfered with the organization’s operations.[2]

Yemeni forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed to shoot down an al Houthi drone near Ghul Sabulah village east of Dhaleh city in Dhaleh governorate in central Yemen on May 20. The Saudi-led coalition separately conducted airstrikes on al Houthi forces in Husha’ and Qatabah districts in Dhaleh governorate on the same day.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Wajid town in Bakool region in southwestern Somalia on May 19. Al Shabaab militants killed five SNA soldiers.[4]

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Policy Frederica Mogherini began a three-day visit to the Horn of Africa on May 20. Mogherini met Somali Federal Government Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in the Somali capital Mogadishu on May 20. She also visited troops from the European Union Training Mission Somalia in Mogadishu. Mogherini will visit Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia on her trip.[5]

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[1] Lisa Barrington, “Yemen’s Houthi’s step up drone attacks on Saudi Arabia,” Reuters, May 21, 2019,; and “Houthis announce targeting of Najran Airport in drone strike,” al Jazeera, May 21, 2019,

[2] “WFP may suspend aid in Houthi-held areas of Yemen, cites obstruction,” Reuters, May 20, 2019,; and “World food Programme to consider suspension of aid in Houthi-controlled territory,” Emirates News Agency, May 20, 2019,

[3] “The army fells Houthi drone in Dhaleh,” Aden Time, May 21, 2019,

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, May 20, 2019,

[5] “EU – Horn of Africa: Mogherini visits Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia,” Africa News, May 20, 2019,; and Sabrina Bellosi, Twitter, May 21, 2019,

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