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: AQAP claims to repel Yemeni security forces in Hadramawt governorate; Hadi government and allied forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz governorate; southern Yemenis continue to protest against UN peace proposal; Hadi government and allied forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces in northern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Puntland Maritime Police Forces attack ISIS-affiliated fighters’ positions near Qandala town, Bari region; al Shabaab militants ambush Ethiopian AMISOM convoy near Elbur town, Galgaduud region; unidentified aircraft strike al Shabaab training camp outside Bu’aale, Middle Jubba region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)-affiliated social media accounts refuted government officials’ claims that UAE-backed Hadrami Elite forces killed more than 20 AQAP militants in al Bahish grove, southwest of al Mukalla city in Hadramawt governorate on November 8. Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghir stated that security forces cleared Hadramawt governorate of both AQAP and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants in a November 10 statement. AQAP members claimed to kill 28 Hadrami fighters and reported that Saudi-led coalition Apaches killed three AQAP militants. Social media accounts also claimed that AQAP has recovered from its withdrawal from Yemen’s coastal cities and has reconstituted. AQAP held al Mukalla city for one year until coalition-backed Yemeni forces retook the city in April 2016.[1]
  • Hadi government and allied forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz governorate on November 10. Hadi government and allied forces clashed in several villages in southern Taiz governorate along roads leading into Taiz city. Al Houthi-Saleh forces and Hadi government forces exchanged artillery fire in the Tabat area, eastern Taiz city.[2]
  • Hundreds of southern Yemeni activists demonstrated in support of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s rejection of the UN peace proposal in Shabwah governorate on November 10. Commander of Southern Resistance forces Sheikh Nasser Bin Hodur called on President Hadi to improve his policies for southern Yemenis “who defended [President Hadi’s] legitimacy on the ground.” Bin Hodur stated that President Hadi’s government has failed to provide adequate government services to southern Yemenis and advocate for southern concerns in international peace talks. [3]
  • Hadi government and allied forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in northern Yemen. Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck an al Houthi-Saleh technical in al Matun area, al Jawf governorate on November 10. The coalition also struck al Houthi-Saleh positions in Manakha village, southwestern Sana’a governorate. Al Houthi-Saleh forces conducted a complex attack targeting Hadi government and allied forces in Sirwah district, Ma’rib governorate.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Puntland Maritime Police Forces (PMPF) assaulted positions held by fighters affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) outside Qandala town in Bari region on November 9. The Puntland forces shelled the areas, causing multiple militant casualties. The ISIS-affiliated fighters first occupied Qandala town on October 26 but have since retreated to areas just outside the town. The pro-ISIS Amaq News Agency claimed the forces successfully repelled the assault on November 9.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy near Elbur town in Galgaduud region on November 10. The militants destroyed one vehicle. The Ethiopian AMISOM forces may have opened fire on civilians in the area following the blast.[6]
  • Unidentified aircraft conducted strikes on an al Shabaab training camp located outside Bu’aale town in Middle Jubba region on November 9. Security forces stormed the area and detained a number of militants, according to local sources.[7]
[1] AQAP social media accounts claimed to repel a Hadrami Elite attack and that AQAP has reconstituted, Twitter and Telegram, November 10, 2016, source available upon request; and “Bin Daghir: The government continues to fight al Qaeda militants and ISIS wherever they are,” Barakish, November 10, 2016,
[3] “Nasser Bin Hodur: We demand President Hadi’s real partnership with the South,” Aden Tomorrow, November 10, 2016,; “Shabwah Mass demonstration rejecting Ould Cheikh’s initiative and supporting President Hadi,” November 10, 2016,   
[4] “Coalition airstrikes targeted a site in al Jawf and Houthis attack a woman with rifles,” al Masdar, November 10, 2016,; “Targeting communities and fortifications of Hadi aggression in Sirwah, Ma’rib,” November 10, 2016,; and “Two killed and 9 wounded in airstrikes by the coalition in southwestern Sana’a,” November 10, 2016,
[5] “Puntland forces raid ISIS bases in Qandala city,” Shabelle News, November 10, 2016,
[6] “Ethiopian troops kill seven civilians in central Somalia,” Shabelle News, November 10, 2016,; Live From Mogadishu, Twitter, November 10, 2016,
[7] “Unidentified fighter jets bomb Al shabaab base in Somalia,” Shabelle News, November 10, 2016,  
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