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: Southern media reports 3rd Military Region deploys artillery to Wadi Hadramawt to support 1st Military region; Yemeni president meets with Hadramawt notable; STC vice president meets with two Hadrami tribes
Somalia: Al Shabaab launches large-scale attack targeting SNA base in recently liberated village in central Somalia; AU, SFG, and US conduct operations to clear remaining al Shabaab militants that overran AU base in southern Somalia on May 26; Somali forces clear al Shabaab hideouts near recently-liberated areas of central Somalia
Yemen Security Brief
Southern media outlet Aden Hura reported on May 29 that the Ma’rib province-based 3rd Military Region deployed artillery to reinforce the 1st Military Region in Seiyun, Hadramawt governorate, southern Yemen.[i] Aden Hura claimed the deployment is a response to increased tensions between the 1st Military Region and Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Hadramawt.
Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi met with the first undersecretary of Hadramawt governorate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 27 to discuss government services and security in Hadramawt.[ii]
STC Vice President Ahmed Saeed bin Breik met with delegations from the Awamer and Nahd tribes in Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate, southern Yemen, in two separate meetings on May 27.[iii] Bin Breik shared the “political and national gains achieved by the STC” with the tribal delegations. He also highlighted the importance of tribes in society.
Somalia Security Brief
Al Shabaab launched a large-scale attack targeting the Somali National Army (SNA) base near Masgaway, El Dheere district, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on May 30. Government media officials claimed that the SNA and local militia repelled the attack and killed at least 30 militants after receiving a tip from locals that put them on alert.[iv] Al Shabaab claimed to overrun the base and kill 73 soldiers.[v] Neither side has provided photographic evidence to support their claims.
The African Union and Somali Federal Government said that on May 30, a joint SNA-African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) force cleared the remnants of the al Shabaab force that overran the African Union base in Bulo Mareer, Marka district, Lower Shabelle, southern Somalia, on May 26.[vi] ATMIS said the force killed several militants and retrieved looted supplies.[vii] United States Africa Command also claimed it launched drone strikes targeting al Shabaab militants retreating from the ATMIS base with looted supplies on May 26.[viii] It is unclear if counterterrorism forces have returned to Bulo Mareer. Video from May 28 showed that al Shabaab was still in control of the base and town.[ix]
Somali forces cleared rural areas near Gal’ad, El Dheere district, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on May 29.[x] Somali soldiers killed eight militants and captured two commanders.
[ii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “President al Alimi meets with the head of the Hadramawt Conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and the latter raises the demand of the Hadrami delegation,” May 27, 2023, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/255950.
[iii] SMA News, “Representative Bin Breik Meets a Delegation of Elders, Sheikhs, and Muqadamah of the Nahd tribes in the Hadramawt,” May 27, 2023, https://smanews.org/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b1%d8%a6%d9%8a%d8%b3%d9%8a%d8%a9/337613/; SMA News, “Representative Bin Breik meets a delegation of notables and sheikhs of the Awamer tribes in Hadramawt,” May 27, 2023, https://smanews.org/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ac%d9%86%d9%88%d8%a8-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b9%d8%b1%d8%a8%d9%8a/337639/.
[iv] Somali National TV, @sntvnews1, Twitter, May 30, 2023, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1663474339453206531?s=20
[v] SITE Intelligence Group, “Just Days After Major Attack on Ugandan Troops in Lower Shabelle, Shabaab Claims 73+ Somali Soldiers Killed in Galguduud,” May 30, 2023, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com
[vi] Somali National TV, @sntvnews1, Twitter, May 29, 2023, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1663475857816444931?s=20; Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 26, 2023,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 26, 2023, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-may-26-2023
[vii] ATMIS, @ATMIS_Somalia, Twitter, May 30, 2023, https://twitter.com/ATMIS_Somalia/status/1663397592116371457?s=20
[viii] United States AFRICOM, “U.S. forces engage insurgents in support of the Federal Government of Somalia,” May 27, 2023, https://www.africom.mil/pressrelease/35213/us-forces-engage-insurgents-in-support-of-the-federal-government-of-somalia
[ix] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, May 29, 2023, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1663120910960787456?s=20
[x] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, May 29, 2023, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1663183637771108354?s=20