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 Najran Regional Airport; al Houthi forces claim to advance into southern Saudi Arabia; al Houthi forces claim to seize town in Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab SVBIED attack kills former Somali Foreign Minister in Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants attack SNA officer’s home in Bay region; Puntland and Somaliland security forces clash in disputed Sanaag region

 Yemen Security Brief

An al Houthi Qasef 2K drone attacked the Najran Regional Airport in southern Saudi Arabia on May 22. Al Houthi media claimed that the strike targeted Saudi-led coalition helicopters. This is the second al Houthi drone attack on the airport in two days.[1]

Al Houthi forces claimed to capture a Saudi base near the Yemeni border in Asir region in southwestern Saudi Arabia on May 22. Al Houthi forces separately announced an offensive along the Saudi-Yemeni border in Hajjah governorate in northwestern Yemen.[2]

Al Houthi forces claimed to seize Qatabah town in northern Dhaleh governorate in central Yemen on May 22. Al Houthi forces previously captured Qatabah town on May 3, but forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi recaptured it on May 17.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali Federal Government officials with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at a checkpoint near the presidential palace in the Somali capital Mogadishu on May 22. The attack killed at least 10 people, including former Somali Foreign Minister Hussein Elabe Fahiye.[4]

Al Shabaab militants attacked the home of a Somali National Army (SNA) officer in Dinsor town in Bay region in southwestern Somalia on May 21. The attack wounded the officer and his wife. SNA forces killed three of the attackers.[5]

Somaliland and Puntland security forces clashed in Damalla-Hagare town in the disputed Sanaag region in northern Somalia on May 21. The clashes killed at least three people.[6]  

[1] “For the second time in 24 hours, the al Houthi group targets Najran Airport by plane,” al Jazeera, May 22, 2019,جماعة-الحوثي-اليمن-مطار-نجران-السعودية; and “Air force carries out attack with Qasef 2K drone on Najran Airport,” 26 Sep Net, May 22, 2019,

[2] “Al Houthi forces capture military bases in Saudi Arabia,” al Masdar News, May 22, 2019,

[3] “Houthis seize strategic city in southern Yemen amid rapid advance,” Al Masdar News, May 22, 2019,

[4]“Shabaab claims suicide bombing on convoy of government officials, MPs, and military officers in Mogadishu,” SITE Intelligence Group, May 22, 2019, English translation available by subscription at; “Car bomb near Somalia’s presidential palace in Mogadishu kills 5,” Garowe, May 22, 2019,; and “Mogadishu: suicide explosion kills more than 10, including military colonel and soldiers,” Radio Kulmiye, May 22, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, May 21, 2019,

[6] “Somaliland: Defense Forces Repulse Attempted Incursion by Puntland Militia,” Somaliland Standard, May 22, 2019,

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