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: U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Yemen; militants blow up oil pipeline in Ataq city, Shabwah governorate; Hadi government and allied forces attack al Houthi-Saleh positions in Hajjah governorate; al Houthi-Saleh forces attack Saudi-led coalition vehicles in Asir region, Saudi Arabia; Hadi government forces seize Iranian fishing vessel in Socotra governorate

Horn of Africa: Turkey pledges four million dollars to aid Somali election season; Kenyan anti-terror police arrest three additional suspects related to October 25 Mandera County attack

Yemen Security Brief

  • U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian surge from parties to the Yemeni civil war on October 31. Ambassador Power condemned al Houthi-Saleh cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia adding the United States will support its right to defend itself against attacks. Ambassador Power also condemned Saudi-led coalition’s October 8 strike on a Sana’a funeral hall and stated the coalition accepted responsibility for the Sana’a attack.  Ambassador Power also urged the parties of the Yemeni civil war to negotiate terms of peace on the basis of the revised proposal submitted by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on October 24. Ambassador Power called for parties of the civil conflict to allow “complete and unfettered humanitarian access,” to besieged areas in Yemen.[1]
  • Unidentified militants blew up an oil pipeline east of Ataq city, Shabwah governorate on November 1. The pipeline transports oil from Shabwah governorate to the Red Sea for export. Militants blew up a gas line that supplied power to coastal areas of Shabwah governorate on September 24.[2]
  • Hadi government and allied forces, supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, attacked al Houthi-Saleh positions in Mastaba district, central Hajjah governorate on November 1. The coalition struck five al Houthi-Saleh vehicles, according to local sources. Hadi government military sources claimed that the attack destroyed a Katyusha launch pad and killed al Houthi-Saleh military personnel. Hadi government and allied forces targeted al Houthi-Saleh forces in Midi and Haradh districts in northern Hajjah governorate in early-mid October.[3]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces attacked Saudi-led coalition positions in Asir and Jazan regions, Saudi Arabia on November 1. Al Houthi-Saleh forces claimed to have bombed a monitoring tower and set a coalition vehicle on fire after seizing a coalition military site in al Sayaleh area, Asir region. Al Houthi-Saleh forces shelled coalition positions in al Khabub area, Jazan region, according to local sources.[4]
  • Forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi seized an Iranian fishing vessel that illegally entered Yemeni territorial waters near Socotra governorate on October 31, according to Hadi government officials. Chief of Naval Operations in Socotra Colonel Ali Salmin announced that Yemeni forces transferred the ship to Socotra, an island in the Arabian Sea, to investigate the incident and seek legal action. Yemen’s Minister of Fisheries accused Iran of “flagrant violation” of international laws for illegally fishing in Yemeni territorial waters.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Turkish Ambassador to Somalia Olgan Bekar announced that Turkey will provide four million dollars in funding to ensure the effective administration and security of Somalia’s upcoming Lower House and presidential elections. Somalia’s budget for the election season is approximately 14 million dollars, 40% of which was already provided by foreign nations. Turkey has donated hundreds of millions in humanitarian aid to Turkey since the 2011 famine and is opening a military base and training center in southern Mogadishu.[6]
  • Kenyan anti-terror police claim to have detained three individuals linked to the October 25 al Shabaab attack on civilians in Mandera County, Kenya. The individuals allegedly helped al Shabaab militants cross the Somali-Kenyan border into Mandera County. Officials detained two other individuals linked to the attack last week. Mandera County officials instituted a curfew and fast-tracked the construction of a border wall following multiple suspected al Shabaab attacks on civilians in Mandera County in October.[7]
[1] Samantha Powers, “Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Yemen,” US Mission to the UN, October 31, 2016,; and “UN envoy seeks Yemen peace deal in coming weeks,” Daily Mail, October 31, 2016,
[2] “Oil pipeline blown up in Shabwa,” Barakish, November 1, 2016,  
[3] “Yemeni Army announced the killing of dozens of rebels in alliance airstrikes in Hajjah governorate,” al Masdar, November 1, 2016,
[4] “Al Sayaleh seizure and military killed three Saudi soldiers in Asir,” al Masirah, November 1, 2016,; “Army and popular forces kill 5 Saudi aggression soldiers in Asir and Jazan,” Saba News, November 1, 2016,
[5] “Urgent: Yemen announces seizing an Iranian ship fishing (illegally),” Aden Lang, October 31, 2016,
[6] “Turkey announces $4m support to Somalia polls budget,” Goobjoog News, November 1, 2016,; and Daniel Tovrov, “Why Turkey is Coming to Somalia’s Aid,” International Business Times, March 8, 2012,
[7] ‘Three arrested for Mandera hotel attack,” Goobjoog News, November 1, 2016,; and “Kenyan Police arrest 3 for Mandera hotel attack,” Shabelle News, November 1, 2016,
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