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.

The next edition of the Gulf of Aden Security Review will be published on June 1, 2022, due to Memorial Day weekend in the United States.

Yemen: Egypt agrees to direct Cairo-Sana’a flights; UN Special Envoy aims to secure further humanitarian assurances before addressing peace talks; AQAP announces execution of alleged spy

Somalia: Danab secures areas in southern Somalia; Gorgor secures farmlands in southern Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets an SNA base in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief:

Egypt agreed to permit direct flights between Cairo and Sana’a, Yemen.[i] The Egyptians did not specify when flights would begin. Flights from Sana’a to Amman, Jordan began on May 16.[ii] Direct flights between Sana’a and Cairo and Amman are a condition of the UN-brokered truce.

Yemeni political sources said UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg aims to secure humanitarian assurances before addressing comprehensive peace talks. Grundberg is also attempting to extend the truce until July 29.[iii] The Houthis said they are aiming for a comprehensive opening of all humanitarian corridors. The Yemeni government delegation said they will focus solely on reopening roads.[iv]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) announced that they executed a spy for providing intelligence to the United States and Japan that led to the killing of USS Cole bombing mastermind Abu Ali al Harithi in 2002.[v]

Somalia Security Brief:

US-trained Danab special forces secured areas in Burhakaba district, Bay region, southern Somalia, on May 25.[vi]

Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces secured farmlands near Barire, Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on May 25.[vii] Gorgor destroyed a boat al Shabaab militants used to cross the Shabelle river to their base.

Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Somali National Army (SNA) base in Mogadishu, on May 25.[viii] Al Shabaab claimed the IED killed two soldiers.

[i] Ibrahim al Khazin, “Cairo reveals permission to operate direct flights with Sana’a,” Anadolu Agency, May 23, 2022,

[ii] Liam Karr and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 16, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 16, 2022,

[iii] Ahmed al Shamiri, “Road Opening Committees Arrive in Jordan: Do you extend the armistice of Yemen two months,” Okaz, May 23, 2022,

[iv] Ansar Allah, “Humanitarian corridors negotiations, Sana’a refuses to be divided,” May 24, 2022,

[v] SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Video Documents Arrest of Spy who Led to Death of USS Cole Bombing Mastermind,” May 23, 2022, available by subscription at

[vi] Radio Risaala, “Danab forces carry out planned operation,” May 25, 2022,

[vii] SNTV News, Twitter, May 25, 2022,

[viii] Somalimemo, “Soldiers and officers killed in and around Mogadishu,” May 25, 2022,

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