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: Popular resistance fighters clash with al Houthis in Aden; protesters in al Mukalla demonstrate against AQAP control; popular resistance forces clash with al Houthis in Ma’rib; Ansar al Sharia militants assassinate al Houthis in al Hudaydah

Horn of Africa: IED detonates in Gedo region; Kenyan police dispose of IED in Nairobi

Yemen Security Brief

  • Popular resistance fighters engaged in heavy fighting with al Houthi militants in Aden city, Aden from May 2-4 as Saudi aircraft continued to support the anti-al Houthi fighters. Saudi Arabia denied rumors on May 3 that it had deployed special forces to support the anti-al Houthi fighters in Aden.[1]
  • Protesters carried out anti-al Qaeda demonstrations in al Mukalla, Hadramawt, on May 2-3. The protests reportedly began after Ansar al Sharia militants threatened an Imam who preached an anti-al Qaeda sermon on May 1. There have been no reports of violence between the protesters and Ansar al Sharia militants in the city.[2]
  • Popular resistance fighters reportedly recaptured territory in Sirwah, Ma’rib on May 3. Anti-al Houthi forces in Ma’rib have continued to receive air support from Saudi-led Operation Restoring Hope.[3]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants assassinated two al Houthi militants in al Hudaydah city, al Hudaydah on May 2. Ansar al Sharia claimed credit for the operation via Twitter.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Unidentified militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Elwaq, Gedo region, on May 3. The attack wounded a district commissioner and four others. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Shabaab has conducted similar attacks targeting government officials in the past.[5]
  • Kenyan Police disposed of an IED found in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 3. Police stated that they did not know the target of the device or who was behind it. They also did not indicate whether they believed the device was linked to al Shabaab, which has conducted IED attacks in Somalia.[6]
[1] “Heavy clashes in Aden airport; alliance accused of cluster bomb use,” Reuters, May 3, 2015. Available:
“Saudi Arabia says it has not begun a ground operation in Yemen’s Aden,” Reuters, May 3, 2015. Available:
[2] “Protests against al Qaeda in eastern Yemen,” Vetogate, May 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
“Demonstrators demand al Qaeda leave al Mukalla,” Islam Today, May 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Popular resistance regains territory in Sirwah, Ma’rib,” al Masdar, May 3, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Two al Houthi militants assassinated in al Hudaydah,” al Masdar, May 2, 2015 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somali official, four others injured in landmine blast,” Hiiraan Online, May 4. Available:
[6] Cyrus Ombati, “Police detonate abandoned explosive in Nairobi,” Standard Digital, May 4. Available:
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