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: The Houthis claim Saudi-led coalition violated the truce in northwestern Yemen; the Houthis conduct a drone attack in southwestern Yemen

Somalia: Al Shabaab SVBIED raid overruns a Burundian ATMIS base in central Somalia; Ethiopian forces arrest al Shabaab weapons smugglers in the Somali Region

Yemen Security Brief:

The Houthis claimed the Saudi-led coalition violated Yemen’s truce agreement. A Houthi movement spokesperson claimed the Saudi-led coalition conducted an airstrike on Houthi positions in Haradh district, Hajjah governorate, northwestern Yemen, on May 4.[i] It is unclear whether this strike actually occurred. The same day, the Houthis claimed to shoot down a Saudi reconnaissance drone over Haradh district.[ii]

The Houthis launched at least one explosives-laden drone targeting a security office southeast of Taiz city, southwestern Yemen, on May 4.[iii] The drones struck near a park crowded with civilians. The attack wounded at least three civilians and two soldiers.

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab overran a Burundian African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forward operating base in El Baraf, Jowhar district, Middle Shabelle region, central Somalia, on May 3. Two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) detonated shortly after morning Eid prayers.[iv] A reported 400 al Shabaab militants stormed and then overran the base after the SVBIED detonation.[v] Al Shabaab claimed to have taken captives and encouraged civilians to loot the base and kill retreating Burundian soldiers.[vi] Al Shabaab initially claimed to kill 59 Burundian soldiers but increased the number to 173 in the hours after the attack. The militants fled following airstrikes on the base by an unknown actor.[vii] An anonymous Burundian army officer told AFP on May 4 that the attack killed 30 Burundian soldiers, wounded 22, and left an estimated 12 more missing.[viii] The Burundian army spokesperson claimed on May 4 that the fighting killed 20 al Shabaab militants and ten Burundian soldiers, and left five Burundians missing.[ix]

Ethiopian Somali region forces arrested al Shabaab weapon smugglers in Elkere, Afdere Zone, Somali Region, eastern Ethiopia, on May 2.[x] Security officials claimed to seize 12,600 rounds of AK47 ammo, six RPGs, and two PKM light machine guns. The officials said al Shabaab planned to use the weapons in attacks in the Somali region.[xi] Ethiopian security forces arrested 34 suspected al Shabaab attack cell members on April 23, 2022.[xii]

[i] @abdulsalamsalah, Twitter, May 4, 2022,

[ii] @Yahya_Saree, Twitter, May 4, 2022,; Akhbar Yemen, “Urgent: Houthi militia announces the downing of a Saudi Air Force drone (statement),” May 4, 2022,

[iii] Akhbar Yemen, “Details of the Houthi bombing that targeted the city of Taiz this morning,” May 4, 2022,; Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “Urgent: Al Houthi militia commits a massacre on the third day of Eid, causing great terror and panic among children and women,” May 4, 2022,

[iv] Harun Maruf and Hussein Hassan Dhaqane, “Al-Shabaab Raids African Union Military Base,” Voice of America, May 3, 2022,; Horseed Media, “ATMIS forces attack camp in Middle Shabelle,” May 3, 2022,

[v] Radio Risaala, “Burundi warns of imminent attack on El Baraf,” May 4, 2022,

[vi] SITE Intelligence, “Shabaab Estimates 173 Burundian Troops Dead in Suicide Raid in Middle Shabelle,” May 3, 2022, available by subscription at

[vii] Maruf and Dhaqane, “Al-Shabaab Raids African Union Military Base;” Somalimemo, “Fighter jets strike El-Baraf area of Middle Shabelle,” May 3, 2022,

[viii] Goobjoog, “Somali Government, AU condemns deadly Al-Shabaab attack on ATMIS base in El-Baraf,” May 4, 2022,

[ix] Katharine Houreld, “Burundi says 10 of its peacekeepers killed in Somalia attack, Reuters, May 4, 2022,

[x] Hiraan Online, “Al-Shabaab members captured attempting arms smuggle to Ethiopia,” May 3, 2022,

[xi] Radio Risaala, “Somali regional government forces seize large quantities of weapons,” May 3, 2022,

[xii] Christopher Muth and Max Ryabinin, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 25, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 25, 2022,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Jun '22
May '22
Apr '22