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. 
 “Saudi-led airstrikes target target Houthi bastion in Yemen’s Sa’ada,” Reuters, May 8, 2015. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/08/us-yemen-security-saada-idUSKBN0NT0H920150508
“Saudi-led forces will target Sa’ada, ask residents to leave,” Retuers, May 8, 2015. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/08/us-yemen-security-deadline-idUSKBN0NT1EE20150508
“Saudi-led coalition vows to hit Houthis despite truce offer,” Reuters, May 7, 2015. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/07/us-yemen-security-saudi-operations-idUSKBN0NS10J20150507
 “AQAP announces the killing of senior official Nasser bin Ali al Ansi in U.S. airstrikes,” SITE, May 7, 2015. Available: http://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Latest-Multimedia-from-al-Qaeda-in-the-Arabian-Peninsula-AQAP/aqap-announces-killing-of-senior-official-nasser-bin-ali-al-ansi-in-airstrike.html
“AQAP announces death of al Ansi in U.S. strike,” Barakish, May 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news02.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=323109
 “Tribes of Shabwah siege Ataq,” KSA, May 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.ksa-rsd.com/2205.html
“Tribes of Shabwah begin sieging Ataq,” 24, May 8, 2015 [Arabic]. Available: http://24.com.eg/yemen/56075.html
 “Somali Islamists driven into north, south pockets,” Reuters, May 7, 2015. Available: http://af.reuters.com/article/somaliaNews/idAFL1N0XY13T20150507?sp=true
 “Sixteen arrested in Marsabit over links to al Shabaab,” The Star, May 8, 2015. Available: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/sixteen-arrested-marsabit-over-links-al-shabaab#sthash.zxI9YimT.dpbs
“Police arrest 16 Muslim preachers in Marsabit over al Shabaab links,” Daily Nation, May 8, 2015. Available: http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/16-Muslim-preachers-arrested-Al-Shabaab-links/-/1107872/2709952/-/pm4prqz/-/index.html