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: Oman mediates indirect Saudi-al Houthi talks; suspected al Houthi missile hits Ministry of Defense HQ in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM airstrike kills al Shabaab militant in Middle Jubba region; Islamic State claims to execute spies in northern Mozambique; al Shabaab claims IED attacks in Kenya and central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

Saudi and al Houthi officials have confirmed that Saudi Arabia and the al Houthi movement are holding indirect negotiations with Omani mediation. Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman traveled to Oman’s capital, Muscat, on November 11, potentially as part of the talks. Saudi and al Houthi officials began communicating via video teleconference and European intermediaries in September after the al Houthi movement claimed an attack on Saudi oil facilities in  Abqaiq. The current talks focus on interim goals such as a partial cease-fire and the re-opening of the airport in the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, Sana’a.[1]

Suspected al Houthi militants launched a missile at Hadi government-aligned forces in Ma’rib governorate in northern Yemen on November 13. The attack targeted the Ministry of Defense headquarters and killed four soldiers. Al Houthi forces previously attacked the headquarters with missiles on October 29.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) killed an al Shabaab militant in an airstrike near Jilib town in Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia on November 12.[3]

The Islamic State’s Central Africa Province claimed to execute 11 spies working for the Mozambican army in Nangade district in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province on November 13.[4]

Al Shabaab claimed to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Kenyan military convoy in the Katolo area in Wajir County in eastern Kenya on November 12. Al Shabaab separately claimed to detonate an IED targeting Burundian soldiers serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in Mahaday town in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on November 12.[5]

Visit our YemenSaudi Arabia, OmanSomalia, and Kenya storystreams.

[1] Al-Haj, Ahmed and Michael, Maggie, “Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s Houthi rebels in indirect peace talks,” Associated Press, November 13, 2019,

[2] Fatima Alasrar, Twitter, November 13, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 29, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 29, 2019,

[3] “Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab terrorist with airstrike,” Radio Shabelle, November 12, 2019,

[4] “ISCAP Claims Killing 11 Spies Near Mozambique-Tanzania Border,” Site Intelligence Group, November 13, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[5] “Shabaab Claims Bombing Military Vehicle in Kenya’s Wajir County, Multiple Attacks on Somali Forces in Southern Somalia,” Site Intelligence Group, November 12, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

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