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: Saudi Arabia targets al Houthis in Sa’ada and calls on civilians to leave the governorate; AQAP announces death of leader Nasser bin Ali al Ansi; Shabwah tribesmen begin sieging Ataq city, Shabwah
Horn of Africa: UN Special Envoy to Somalia states Somali security forces have driven al Shabaab into pockets in northern and southern Somalia; Kenya arrests 16 suspected al Shabaab members
Yemen Security Brief
- Saudi Arabia announced on May 7 that it would respond harshly to al Houthi cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia. Saudi airstrikes proceeded to target al Houthi sites in Sa’ada on May 8, reportedly damaging the tomb of al Houthi-movement founder Hussein al Houthi. Saudi Arabia also dropped leaflets calling on civilians to leave the governorate. Saudi Arabia reportedly now considers Sa’ada a military target.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video on May 7 announcing the death of AQAP leader Nasser bin Ali al Ansi. The video featured a speech from AQAP leader Khaled Batarfi, who is currently AQAP’s emir of al Mukalla. Al Ansi was reportedly killed in a U.S. airstrike.
- Shabwah tribesmen began sieging al Houthi-controlled Ataq city, Shabwah, on May 7. The fighting has continued through May 8 and reportedly resulted in a large number of casualties, though no figure can be confirmed.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The UN Special Envoy to Somalia Nick Kay stated on May 7 that African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somalia National Army (SNA) forces have driven al Shabaab out of territorial strongholds but that the group still poses a threat in northern and southern areas of Somalia.
- Kenyan security forces arrested 16 suspected al Shabaab members at a mosque in Marsabit County, northern Kenya, on May 8.