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: UN peace talks reportedly postponed; al Houthis continue to exchange fire with Saudi forces along Saudi-Yemen border; unidentified militants detonate IED in Hadramawt; popular resistance fighters force al Houthis out of al Dhaleh city, al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants ambush Kenyan police in North Eastern Province, Kenya; al Shabaab militants attack government held town in Lower Shabelle region; al Shabaab militants capture town in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Anonymous UN and Yemeni officials stated that planned Yemeni peace talks have been postponed without giving a future date for talks. Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government has continued to insist that the al Houthi submit to UN resolution 2216 prior to negotiations, and the al Houthi movement has demanded a ceasefire as a precondition for any talks.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants continued to exchange artillery fire with Saudi forces along the Yemeni-Saudi border from May 23-25. The shelling reportedly destroyed the Haradh border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The total number of casualties from the ongoing fighting is unknown.[2]
  • Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in al Qatan, Hadramawt, on May 23. The IED, which was likely intended to target a military patrol, killed two civilians and wounded three others when it was detonated. No group has yet claimed credit for the attack.[3]
  • Popular resistance fighters forced al Houthi militants and al Houthi-allied military units out of al Dhaleh city, al Dhaleh, on May 25, following several weeks of fighting. The popular resistance fighters reportedly seized control of the military base of the 33rd Armored Brigade and raised flags of the former state of South Yemen throughout the city.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed Kenyan police north of Garissa, North Eastern Province, Kenya, on May 26. Casualties are unclear as al Shabaab claimed to have killed 25 officers while Kenyan police officials claimed that only one officer had been killed and four others wounded.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked the government held towns of Aw Dheegle and Mubarak, both in Lower Shabelle region, on May 23. It was reported that 26 militants and 19 government soldiers were killed in the clashes.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants captured the town of Janale, Lower Shabelle region, on May 24. Somali government forces had previously controlled the town but retreated earlier that day in fear of a possible al Shabaab attack, which allowed the militants to seize the town without any fighting.[7]

[1] “Saudi forces and Yemen’s Houthis trade heavy fire, border crossing hit,” Reuters, May 24, 2015. Available:
“UN talks on Yemen conflict ‘postponed’,” al Jazeera, May 25, 2015. Available:
“Arab airstrikes hit military bases in Yemen,” Reuters, May 23, 2015. Available:
“UN spokesman: Geneva conference will last five days,” SABA, May 24, 2015. Available:
“Hadi welcomes Geneva conference on the basis of certain preconditions,” al Masdar, May 23, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Saudi forces and Yemen’s Houthis trade heavy fire, border crossing hit,” Reuters, May 24, 2015. Available:
“al Houthis continue to knock out Saudi military sites in Najran and Jizan,” al Watanye, May 25, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: 
[3] “Civillians killed in explosion targeting military in eastern Yemen,” Erem News, May 23, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Three civilians killed by roadside bomb in eastern Yemen,” Gazast, May 23, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Houthis suffer first major setback in southern Yemen,” Reuters, May 25, 2015, Available:
“Popular resistance advances in al Dhaleh south of Yemen,” Yemen Times, May 25, 2015. Available:
[5] “UPDATE 2-Somali militants attack Kenyan police, at least one dead,” Reuters, May 26. Available:
[6] “Awshegle is under out control, says Somali government,” Bar Kulan, May 24. Available:
[7] “Al Shabaab takes control of strategic Somali town,” Somaliweyn, May 26. Available:
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