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 forces fire a ballistic missile targeting Hadi government forces in al Jawf governorate; AQAP militants assassinate Emirati-backed al Hizam Rapid Intervention Forces commander in Zinjibar city, Abyan governorate; Saudi air defenses shoot down al Houthi UAV near Abha airport, Saudi Arabia

Horn of Africa: Puntland’s president condemns Somaliland’s actions in disputed Las Anod; al Shabaab claims attack on SNA soldiers in Wanlaweyn; ISIS in Somalia claims attack on Puntland soldier in Anjil village, Bari region

Yemen Security Brief

Al Houthi forces fired a Qaher M-2 ballistic missile at a Hadi government training camp in al Jawf governorate, northern Yemen on May 30. The missile fell in a desert area in al Jawf and caused no damage, according to anti-al Houthi sources.[1] 

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants assassinated Emirati-backed al Hizam Rapid Intervention Forces Commander Hud Saleh al Marimi in Zinjibar city, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on May 30. Al Hizam Security Forces clashed with AQAP militants near Zinjibar city between May 10 and 14. AQAP militants frequently conduct attacks against al Hizam Security Forces in Abyan governorate but last conducted an attack in Zinjibar in 2017.[2]

Saudi air defenses shot down an al Houthi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near Abha international airport in Asir region, southern Saudi Arabia on May 26, according to Saudi-led coalition spokesman Turki al Maliki. Al Houthi forces previously attacked Abha airport with Qasef 1 UAVs on April 11. [3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

The office of the Puntland president released a statement accusing Somaliland forces of violating the human rights of civilians in Las Anod, Sool region, northern Somalia on May 30. The statement claimed that Somaliland forces are arbitrarily detaining and committing acts of violence against civilians. The statement comes in the wake of Somaliland forces arresting protesters and journalists at a pro-Somali Federal Government protest in Las Anod on May 28. The Somaliland government also shut down two television channels for their coverage of the Las Anod protests and the Somaliland and Puntland conflict on May 30. Somaliland is an autonomous region and self-declared state that seeks internationally recognized independence from Somalia.[4]

Al Shabaab claimed its militants killed ten SNA soldiers with a landmine in Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle, south-central Somalia on May 30. A Somali military court also sentenced three al Shabaab members to death on May 30 for their role in the Hotel Nasa-Hablood II attack on October 28, 2017. Al Shabaab suicide bombers detonated two car bombs outside the entrance of Hotel Nasa-Hablood II, killing at least 20 people.[5]

ISIS in Somalia claimed its militants killed a Puntland soldier in Anjil village, south of Qandala town, Bari region, northern Somalia on May 29. Puntland Security Forces expelled ISIS from Qandala in December 2016.[6]

 [1] “Ballistic fall was launched by the Houthis in a desert area in al Jawf, no victims,” Al Masdar, May 30, 2018,; and “The launching of a ballistic missile on concentrations of the mercenaries of the aggression at al Lebnat camp in al Jawf,” Saba News, May 30, 2018,
[2] “AQAP claimed the assassination of al Hizam Rapid Intervention Forces commander in Zinjibar city, Abyan governorate,” Telegram, May 30, 2018; and “Assassination of the commander of the rapid intervention forces in the Hizam security forces in Abyan governorate,” Al Masdar, May 30, 2018,
[3] “JFC of the Coalition ‘Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen’ Surveilling and Destroying a UAV Headed to Abha,” SPA, May 26, 2018,
[4] “Puntland State of Somali Office of the President PRESS STATEMEN OPPRESSION IN LAS ANOD,” Puntland News 24, May 30, 2018,; and “Two TV channels shut down, journalists arrested in Somaliland,” Hiiraan, May 20, 2018,
[5] Schmuel Yosef Agnon, “Al-Shabaab Claim Ambush on Somali Government Soldiers in Wanlaweyn Town, Casualties Reported,” Intelligence Briefs, May 30, 2018,; and “3 Shabaab militants to be executed for Nasa-Hablood II attack,” Goobjoog, May 30, 2018,
[6]Terror Monitor, ISIS in Somalia assassinates SNA soldier, Twitter, May 29, 2018,

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