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: Iranian foreign minister discusses Yemen conflict with Pakistani prime minister; chairman of al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee supports U.S. call for ceasefire; Hadi government welcomes international efforts to reach a political solution; Russian foreign minister reiterates support for Yemeni national dialogue

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants detonate VBIED in Mogadishu; suspected al Shabaab militants kill radio journalist outside Mogadishu; ISIS claims killing customs officer in Boosaaso, Puntland

Yemen Security Brief

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed the Yemen crisis with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan on October 31. Zarif also met with the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and expressed Iran’s readiness to help end the war in Yemen.[1]

The chairman of the al Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Ali al Houthi, welcomed U.S. calls for a ceasefire in Yemen and described them as a “positive” development on November 1. Al Houthi also urged more international pressure on the Saudi-led coalition to cease airstrikes.[2]

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi welcomed recent statements from the U.S. and other members of the international community urging a political solution to the Yemen conflict on November 1. The Hadi government also reiterated its support for UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths’ efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.[3]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated the need to develop a national dialogue for Yemen under UN auspices in a November 1 statement on the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Yemen. Hadi’s Foreign Minister, Khalid al Yamani, expressed appreciation for Russia’s support to the Hadi government and emphasized Yemen’s aspirations for a more active Russian role in “ending the al Houthi coup.”[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) near the Somali Parliament building at Dabka junction in Mogadishu on November 1. The militants detonated the VBIED amid a traffic jam while soldiers were searching nearby vehicles. No casualties have yet been reported.[5]

Suspected al Shabaab militants killed Somali radio journalist Abdullah Mire Hashi in Elasha Biyaha area near Mogadishu on October 27. Abdullahi had received anonymous phone calls inquiring why his station was not covering al Shabaab’s operations in the region.[6]

The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) claimed to kill a customs officer in boosaao, Puntland on November 1. The attack has not been confirmed.[7]

[1] “Zarif: Pakistan has offered very good plan to end Yemeni crisis,” Tasnim News Agency, October 31, 2018,; and “Zarif and Imran confirm to free Iranian soldiers,” Al Manar, October 31, 2018,

[2] “Yemeni rebels seek pressure on Saudis as U.S. calls for truce,” ABC News, November 1, 2018,

[3] “Hadi government welcomes efforts to establish peace in Yemen, support UN envoy’s good efforts,” Saba Net, November 1, 2018,

[4] “Al Yamani: Yemeni-Russian relations a milestone in International Relations,” Saba Net, November 1, 2018,; and “Lavrov calls for the development of national dialogue in Yemen under UN auspices,” Russia Today, November 1, 2018,

[5] “Somalia: Car bomb strikes near Parliament in capital,” Garowe Online, November 1, 2018,

[6] Saad Muse, “Somalia: Journalist Murdered During Afternoon Prayers,” CAJ News Africa, November 1, 2018,

[7] “IS’ ‘Amaq reports killing of Somali customs officer in Puntland,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 1, 2018, English translation available by subscription at

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