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: Secretary of State Pompeo discusses Yemen conflict with Omani foreign minister; UN Special Envoy to Yemen secures agreement with al Houthi movement to attend meeting in Sweden; Saudi-led coalition naval forces destroy al Houthi remote-controlled explosive boat in the Red Sea; al Houthi forces claim to attack Saudi base with UAV in Ma’rib governorate, northern Yemen; al Houthi ministers defect; al Houthi forces detain  suspected ISIS members in al Hudaydah city

Horn of Africa: ISIS criticizes al Shabaab for targeting its supporters in Somalia; likely al Shabaab IED explodes in Bakara market, Mogadishu; al Shabaab militants fight Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo discussed the Yemen crisis with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on November 16. Pompeo and Abdullah reiterated the urgent need for a secession of hostilities and the importance of all parties working to achieve a political agreement to end the conflict.[1]

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths stated on November 16 that al Houthi movement delegation to attend a meeting in Sweden by the end of 2018 without fear of being prevented from returning to Yemen. Griffiths will address the United Nations Security Council  about the crisis in Yemen on November 16.[2]

Saudi-led coalition naval forces intercepted and destroyed an al Houthi remote-controlled explosive boat in the Red Sea on November 16. The boat was reportedly en route to Jizan region, southern Saudi Arabia.[3]

Al Houthi forces claimed to attack a Saudi-led coalition training base with a Qasef 1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Ma’rib governorate, northern Yemen on November 16.[4]

The al Houthi ministers of Technical and Vocational Training and Culture and Information announced their defections from the al Houthi movement on November 15 and 10, respectively, according to pro-Saudi news sources. The al Houthi Minister of Tourism previously left the movement on October 12, according to Saudi news.[5]

Al Houthi forces arrested alleged members of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in al Hudaydah city. Al Houthi forces are also occupying homes in neighborhoods in southern and eastern al Hudaydah city.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

ISIS accused al Shabaab of arresting and killing ISIS supporters in Somalia and targeting the families of ISIS fighters in an online statement on November 16. ISIS claimed that al Shabaab’s campaign aims to deter Somalis from joining or supporting ISIS. ISIS implied that it would respond to al Shabaab’s purges at some point in the future.[7]

A likely al Shabaab improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in a wheelbarrow in a parking lot near a telecommunications company in Bakara market, Mogadishu on November 15. Likely al Shabaab militants killed an employee of the same telecommunications company in Suqa Hoolaha area, Mogadishu on November 15. Al Shabaab militants have been attacking local businesses in an attempt to extort them, according to Somali officials.[8]

Al Shabaab militants fought members of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a in Goola-Goole village about 100 kilometers south of Guriel, Galgudud region, central Somalia on November 26. There were at least four casualties.[9]

[1] “Secretary Pompeo’s call with Omani Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah,” U.S. Department of State, November 16, 2018,

[2] “United Nations Yemen envoy hopeful of peace talks to end deadly conflict,” Sky News, November 16, 2018,

[3] “Saudi-led coalition naval forces intercept and destroy an al Houthi-remote explosive boat,” Al Arabiya, November 16, 2018,

[4] “Al Houthi forces target a military training camp used by mercenaries in Ma’rib,” Al Masirah, November 16, 2018,

[5] “Al Houthi ministers continue to splinter and al Hudaydah liberation nears,” Makkah Newspaper, November 15, 2018,; “An al Houthi minister resigns and reveals a surprise,” Almashhad Alaraby, October 12, 2018,; and “Al Houthi minister of culture and information hit by a shoe in Riyadh,” Alitihad, November 10, 2018,

[6] Baseem al Jenani, Twitter, November 15, 2018,

[7] “IS Suggests Coming Showdown Shabaab in Somalia in Nabab 156,” SITE Intelligence group, November 16, 2018, English translation available by subscription at

[8] Harun Maruf, Twitter, November 15, 2018,

[9] Harun Maruf, Twitter, November 16, 2018,; and Mogadishu Update, Twitter, November 16, 2018,

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