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: Houthis continue military preparations in northern Yemen; Houthi spokesperson praises Elad stabbing attack

Somalia: Al Shabaab targets an Ethiopian convoy in a deadly complex ambush in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab mortars an ATMIS FOB near the May 3 El Baraf attack in south-central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

The Houthis may have pre-positioned missile launchers in northern Yemen. Yemeni sources reported on May 6 that the Houthis have deployed missile launchers in Hajjah, Sa’ada, and al Jawf governorates.[i] The Houthis use sites in Hajjah, Sa’ada, and al Jawf to launch missile and drone attacks both within Yemen and against targets in the Gulf.

Houthi movement spokesperson Mohammed al Bukhaiti praised the stabbing attack in Elad, Israel on May 5.[ii] He said the attack confirmed Palestinians’ capability to confront Israel. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised the attack in Israel, though did not take credit for the attack.[iii]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab conducted a complex ambush targeting an Ethiopian African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) convoy near Shaatilow village, Luuq-Dolow road, Gedo region, southwestern Somalia, on May 5.[iv] Al Shabaab used improvised explosive devices and small arms in the attack. Al Shabaab claimed to kill five soldiers and wound eight others.[v]

Al Shabaab mortared a Burundian ATMIS forward operating base (FOB) in Mir-Taqwo, Jowhar district, Middle Shabelle, south-central Somalia, on May 6.[vi] ATMIS counter-battery artillery fire engaged the al Shabaab mortars, reportedly targeting the outskirts of El Baraf. El Baraf is about 20 miles north of Mir-Taqwo and was where al Shabaab forces overran a Burundian FOB on May 3.[vii] Security forces have not retaken the village since the attack despite conducting search and rescue operations for missing troops nearby.[viii]

[i] @FaresALhemyari, Twitter, May 6, 2022,

[ii] @M_N_Albukhaiti, Twitter, May 5, 2022,

[iii] Times of Israel, “Massive manhunt underway as police identify suspects in deadly Elad terror attack,” May 6, 2022,

[iv] Radio Risaala, “Explosions and casualties in Gedo Region,” May 5, 2022,

[v] Radio al Furqan, “Details emerge from casualties in this morning’s attack in Gedo,” May 5, 2022,

[vi] Radio Risaala, “ATMIS operation, al Shabaab exchange artillery fire,” May 6, 2022,

[vii] Liam Karr and Christopher Muth, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – May 4, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, May 4, 2022,

[viii] Horseed Media, “Displaced people in El Baraf are in dire straits,” May 6, 2022,

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