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: Houthi delegation travels to Amman for talks on reopening Taiz roads; Saudi deputy defense minister meets with key US officials in Washington, D.C.

Somalia: Al Shabaab raids an SNA checkpoint in southern Somalia; SNA captures an al Shabaab officer in southern Somalia; al Shabaab IED kills SNA soldiers in southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

A Houthi delegation led by Yahya Abdullah al Razami arrived in Amman, Jordan for discussions with a Yemeni government delegation led by Islah member Abdul Karim Sharaf Shaiban on reopening roads around Taiz city, southwestern Yemen.[i] Razami is reportedly close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).[ii]

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman continued meetings with key US officials in Washington, D.C. on May 20-21. Bin Salman met US Special Envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking and discussed the importance of securing port revenues in Hudaydah, reopening roads in Taiz, and “engaging” with peace proposals on May 20.[iii] Bin Salman also discussed US-Saudi relations with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on May 20.[iv] Bin Salman, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman discussed Yemen, Ukraine, and US-Saudi relations on May 21.[v] Bin Salman and his delegation also met with the US national security advisor on May 18.[vi]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab raided a Somali National Army (SNA) checkpoint in Bal’ad, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on May 21.[vii] Al Shabaab killed at least seven soldiers. Al Shabaab militants disguised themselves as civilians and arrived at the checkpoint in a civilian vehicle.

The SNA claimed to capture the head of al Shabaab in Marka in Marka town, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on May 22.[viii]

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting SNA soldiers in Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on May 21.[ix] The IED killed two soldiers.

[i] Mahra Post, “A Houthi team leaves Sana’a to participate in Jordan’s consultations on opening Taiz ports,” May 22, 2022,

[ii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “Its president leads the most powerful combat battalions.. a Houthi military committee leaves Sana’a for Amman,” May 22, 2022,

[iii] Khalid bin Salman, Twitter, May 21, 2022,

[iv] Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, “Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Meets Secretary Austin, Chairs Joint Strategic Planning Committee,” May 21, 2022,

[v] Wendy Sherman, Twitter, May 21, 2022,

[vi] Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 18, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2022,

[vii] Goobjoog News, “Al Shabaab kills at least seven soldiers in Bal’ad,” May 21, 2022, ; Radio Daslan, “Details: attack on government soldiers in Middle Shabelle,” May 21, 2022,

[viii] Goobjoog News, “SNA nabs al Shabaab mastermind Marka, recovers explosives,” May 22, 2022, ; Horseed Media, “Al Shabaab bombing chief is arrested in Marka,” May 22, 2022,

[ix] Calamada, “Read various reports of officers and soldiers killed and wounded ,” May 21, 2022,

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