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: U.S. asserts Iran provided al Houthi movement with surface-to-ship missile; Emirati-backed forces clash with al Houthi forces six kilometers from al Hudaydah International Airport; UN Special Envoy to Yemen meets with internationally recognized Yemeni president; Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces seize al Dhaleh city; al Houthi forces down Saudi-led coalition reconnaissance drone
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants assemble at the Kenyan-Somali border; Somali minister of defense announces new plan to defeat al Shabaab and ISIS; Kenyan president and Somali president hold bilateral talks in Nairobi, Kenya
Yemen Security Brief
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis asserted on May 29 that Iran supplied the al Houthi movement with the missile that struck a Saudi oil tanker on April 3. The U.S. maintains that Iran illegally supplies the al Houthi movement with sophisticated weaponry.
Emirati-backed National Resistance Forces and Southern Giants Brigade forces clashed with al Houthi forces six kilometers from on May 30. National Resistance Forces and Southern Giants Brigade forces also seized al Houthi ballistic missiles in , south of al Hudaydah city, on May 30. Emirati-backed forces are gathering in al Darayhimi city, 20 kilometers south of al Hudaydah city, after seizing the city from al Houthi forces on May 29.
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met with internationally recognized Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 30. Hadi also met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah on May 30. Hadi government Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ahmed al Misri met with his Emirati counterpart, Said bin Zayed al Nahyan, in the UAE on May 31 to discuss coordinated security efforts. Senior General People’s Congress (GPC) officials who defected from the al Houthi movement met with Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in the UAE on May 31.
Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces seized Yemen on May 31, according to local sources. Al Hizam forces seized al Dhaleh city after southern resistance forces attacked al Hizam forces near Abud military base on the northern outskirts of al Dhaleh city on May 30.from southern resistance forces in southern al Dhaleh governorate, southern
Al Houthi forces downed a Saudi-led coalition reconnaissance drone near a Saudi border crossing in Saudi Arabia on May 30. The border crossing is one kilometer north of Baqim district in Sa’ada governorate, northern Yemen. The al Houthi movement has claimed to shoot down five other coalition reconnaissance drones in May., southwestern
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Kenyan police reported on May 30 that al Shabaab militants are assembling near the Somali-Kenyan border with the intent to conduct attacks in Kenya during Ramadan. Some of the militants have attempted to cross the border into the Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties in northeastern Kenya. An al Shabaab group in the Gedo region may also be planning an attack on the Kenyan side of the border. Kenyan police also launched a manhunt for al Shabaab returnees who crossed into Kenya from Somalia in Lamu county, Kenya on May 31.
Somali Minister of Defense Hassan Ali announced a new offensive to recapture al Shabaab-controlled areas on May 30. Ali said that Somali forces will soon launch major offensives to eliminate al Shabaab. Ali also emphasized that Somalia needs to implement a clear plan to eliminate al Shabaab and ISIS in Somalia as the African UNION Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) begins to exit the country.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo held bilateral talks in Nairobi, Kenya on May 30. The two leaders discussed security, Kenya’s continued support for AMISOM, and the war against al Shabaab. President Farmajo also pledged to support Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC). Farmajo’s office also announced that a special committee will resolve the tensions between the residents of Kenya’s Mandera County and Somalia’s border city of Beled-Hawo, Gedo region.
 “Press briefing by Secretary Mattis enroute to PACOM,” U.S. Department of Defense, May 29, 2018, https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1534482/press-briefing-by-secretary-mattis-enroute-to-pacom/.
 “Yemeni Resistance on the outskirts of al Hudaydah International Airport,” Sky News Arabia, May 30, 2018, https://www.skynewsarabia.com/middle-east/1052323-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%85%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%81-%D9%85%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A; “National Resistance Forces and Southern Giants Brigade forces advance within six km of al Hudaydah International Airport,” Twitter, May 30, 2018, https://twitter.com/RepublicanYemen/status/1001817545953996801; “Resistance forces and the National Army control the ballistic missile launchers in al Hudaydah,” Aden Tomorrow, May 31, 2018, http://adengd.net/news/320728/; “Yemen.. The Legitimacy based on the border of al Hudaydah,” Al Arabiya, May 31, 2018, https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/yemen/2018/05/31/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B2-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%AA%D8%AE%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%AF%D8%A9.html; and “Yemen: Battles Around Hodeidah Airport,” Asharq Al Awsat, May 31, 2018, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1285641/yemen-battles-around-hodeidah-airport.
 “UN envoy begins final round of talks with Yemeni parties ahead of peace plan,” Al Masdar, May 31, 2018, http://almasdaronline.com/article/99235; “President Hadi Meets with Saudi Crown Prince and al Misi Meets UAE Interior Minister,” Al Masdar, May 31, 2018, http://almasdaronline.com/article/99237; and “Leaders of the Congress Party (Saleh wing) meet with Mohammed bin Zayed,” Al Masdar, May 31, 2018, http://almasdaronline.com/article/99234.
 “Al Hizam Security Forces announced control of al Dhaleh city after bloody clashes with the Southern Resistance,” Aden Tomorrow, May 31, 2018, http://adengd.net/news/320752/; “Two people were killed and three wounded in an explosion and clashes between gunmen and security belt in al Dhaleh,” Al Masdar, May 31, 2018, http://almasdaronline.com/article/99233; and “Details of the clashes between armed outlaws and al Hizam Security Forces in al Dhaleh,” Aden Lang, May 31, 2018, http://adnlng.info/news/95316/.
 “Drop a spy plane of the aggression and break the march of the mercenary in Asir,” Saba News, May 30, 2018, http://saba.ye/ar/news497658.htm.
 Helen Nyambura-Mwaura, “Al-Shabaab Militants on Kenyan Border Are Planning Attacks, Police Say,” Bloomberg, May 30, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-30/al-shabaab-militants-on-kenyan-border-plan-attacks-police-say; and Goldberg Jane Heller, “Kenyan Security Agencies Launch A Manhunt For Al Shabaab Returnees In Lamu County,” Intelligence Briefs, May 31, 2018, https://intelligencebriefs.com/kenyan-security-agencies-launch-a-manhunt-for-al-shabaab-returnees-in-lamu-county/.
 Goldberg Jane Heller, “Somalia’s Minister For Defense Announces New Offensive To Flush Out Al Shabaab And ISIS,” Intelligence Briefs, May 31, 2018, https://intelligencebriefs.com/somalias-minister-for-defense-announces-new-offensive-to-flush-out-al-shabaab-and-isis/; and “Somali Defense Ministry Plans to Intensify Offensives against Al-Shabab,” Halbeeg, May 31, 2018, https://en.halbeeg.com/2018/05/31/somalia-defense-ministry-plans-to-intensify-offensives-against-al-shabab/.
 Schmuel Yosef Agnon, “President Uhuru Kenyatta & Somali’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Hold Bilateral Talks in Nairobi,” Intelligence Briefs, May 31, 2018, https://intelligencebriefs.com/president-uhuru-kenyatta-somalis-mohamed-abdullahi-farmajo-hold-bilateral-talks-in-nairobi/; and John Snow, “Somalia, Kenya agree to support for African Mission in Somalia,” Mareeg, May 31, 2018, https://mareeg.com/somalia-kenya-agree-to-support-for-african-mission-in-somalia/.