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-led coalition claims to intercept Iranian vessel smuggling weapons to al Houthis; Saudi-led coalition claims to intercept al Houthi drones and drone boats

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attempt assassinating regional official in Kismayo; SNA forces claim to kill suspected al Shabaab leaders in Lower Jubba region; suspected al Shabaab landmine kills SNA soldiers near Dhusamareb city

Yemen Security Brief:

The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept an Iranian vessel carrying weapons intended for the al Houthi movement off the coast of southeastern Yemen’s al Mahrah governorate on November 12. The Saudi-led coalition arrested the crew members, which had either Iranian or Pakistani nationality. The Yemeni Coast Guard claimed intercepting an Iranian vessel transporting weapons to al Houthi militants in mid-July.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition announced on November 12 that it intercepted an al Houthi drone launched toward an unspecified area in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition claimed destroying two al Houthi remote-controlled improvised explosive device boats launched from western Yemen’s al Hudaydah governorate on November 11.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Al Shabaab militants attempted to assassinate a Somali regional minister with an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Kismayo city in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on November 12. The attack killed two bodyguards and one civilian. The militants failed to assassinate a Jubbaland regional minister in a separate IED attack in Kismayo the same day. The attack killed three bodyguards.[3]

Somali National Army (SNA) forces claimed to kill two suspected al Shabaab leaders in Bar Sanguni town in southern Somalia’s Lower Jubba region on November 11. SNA forces reportedly reclaimed several villages from al Shabaab militants in Lower Jubba in late September.[4]

An al Shabaab roadside landmine detonated near Dhusamareb city in central Somalia’s Galgudud region on November 11. The explosion allegedly killed two SNA soldiers. An al Shabaab roadside IED detonated near Dhusamareb in late October, injuring at least one SNA soldier.[5]

[1] “An Iranian boat carrying drugs and weapons was seized on the coast of Mahra,” 7adramout, November 13, 2020, ; and Zachary Jaynes and Mathew Eady, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – July 17, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at American Enterprise Institute, July 17, 2020,

[2] “The first Houthi attack against Saudi Arabia after threatening to target vital installations,” Mareb Press, November 12, 2020, ; and “Saudi says dealt with limited fire at Jazan oil products terminal,” Reuters, November 13, 2020,

[3] “Somali regional minister survives assassination,” Mareeg, November 12, 2020,; “Somali minister survives a bomb attack, 3 dead,” Garowe, November 12, 2020,; “Jubbaland minister survives bomb attack, bodyguards killed,” Hiiraan, November 12, 2020,

[4] “Al Shabaab Leader Killed in Jubbaland,” Horseed media, November 11, 2020,; and Emily Estelle, Rahma Bayrakdar, and Jessica Kocan, “Africa File: New opportunities for the African Salafi-jihadi movement,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 1, 2020,

[5] “Bomb Blast Hits Military Convoy, Kills Soldiers in Central Somalia,” Garowe, November 11, 2020,; and Hannah Kuperman and Luc Sasseville, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – November 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at American Enterprise Institute, November 2, 2020,


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