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 movement broadcasts footage of 2018 Abu Dhabi airport attack; President Hadi threatens to suspend negotiations with UN special envoy; Hadi government-aligned security forces conduct counterterrorism raid in al Mahrah

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM conducts airstrike against al Shabaab in Lower Shabelle region; AMISOM head meets Jubbaland President to discuss elections and security operations

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi-affiliated al Masirah TV broadcast alleged footage of an al Houthi drone attack on Abu Dhabi International Airport from July 26, 2018 on May 24. The UAE has denied that al Houthi drones ever attacked the airport.[1]

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi sent a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on May 23 warning that his government will cease working with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths unless the UN reviews Griffiths’ conduct and guarantees impartiality in UN negotiations. Hadi government-aligned Members of Parliament called on President Hadi to stop working with Griffiths on May 22 due to Griffiths’ alleged pro-al Houthi bias.[2]

Hadi government-aligned military police conducted a counterterrorism raid on a hotel in al Ghayda district in southeastern al Mahrah governorate near the Omani border on May 24. Military police arrested four terrorists in the raid but did not specify to which group the terrorists belonged.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab militants near Beled Amin village in Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia on May 22. The airstrike killed two militants.[4]

The head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Francisco Madeira, met with the President of Somalia’s Jubbaland state, Ahmed Madobe, in the Jubbaland capital Kismayo on May 22. The two discussed the Jubbaland presidential elections scheduled for August as well as the resumption of joint AMISOM-Jubbaland operations to secure roads in Lower Jubba region. Madeira dismissed recent media reports that AMISOM forces had withdrawn from their garrison at the Kismayo airport.[5]

[1] Mohammed Abdul Salam, Twitter, May 23, 2019,; and “Yemen’s Houthi rebel TV broadcasts footage showing drone attack on Abu Dhabi airport in 2018,” Xinhua, May 24, 2019,

[2] “President Hadi in a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations: We will not accept your envoy unless you review his abuses and provided that they are not repeated,” al Masdar Online, May 24, 2019,; and “President Hadi complained to the United Nations,” Mareb Press, May 24, 2019,

[3] “Military Police in al Mahra arrested four terrorists in a hotel in al Ghayda district,” Tahdeeth Net, May 24, 2019,; and Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, May 24, 2019,

[4] “Airstrike Degrades al-Shabaab network,” United States Africa Command, May 22, 2019,; and “US strike kills 2 Al Shabaab in Somalia,” Mareeg, May 24, 2019,

[5] “AU envoy in talks with Jubbaland president on upcoming election,” Garowe, May 24, 2019,

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