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: Houthis test fire anti-ship missile with IRGC support; AQAP targets STC-backed forces in Abyan governorate; Houthi deputy foreign minister falsely claims Iranian protests are ending

Somalia: The UNSC renews international sanctions on Somalia with an exception for the Somali Federal Government; anti-al Shabaab forces attack al Shabaab militants in multiple towns in central Somalia; anti-al Shabaab forces secure a town in south-central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

The Yemeni armed forces spokesperson said the Houthis test fired a long-range anti-ship missile from Nihm district, Sana’a, Yemen on November 17.[i] The missile landed west of Hudaydah in international waters.[ii] The Yemeni government said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supported the missile test.[iii]

Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting the Southern Transitional Council (STC)-backed 3rd Support and Reinforcement Brigade (SRB) in al Mahfad district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on November 17.[iv] The IED injured three SRB soldiers and damaged two vehicles.[v]

Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein al Ezzi falsely claimed the Iranian protests have “entered the stage of clinical death,” and are “fading away” on November 18. Ezzi complimented Iranian responses to containing the protests, commending the regime’s ability to “manage crises and contain risks.”[vi] The Critical Threats Project assesses that there is a “surge in protests” in Iran.[vii] There were protests in at least 33 Iranian cities on November 17.[viii]

Somalia Security Brief:

The United Nations Security Council (USNC) renewed the international sanctions regime on Somalia on November 17. The UNSC altered the sanctions regime to permit the Somali Federal Government to receive military equipment, technical advice, and financial assistance intended for Somalia’s security forces.[ix]

US-trained Somali National Army Danab commandos and local Ma’awisley militia forces cleared multiple towns near Bulo Burde and Beledweyne districts, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on November 17.[x] Anti-al Shabaab forces cleared at least two of the same towns in September.[xi]

Local Ma’awisley forces ambushed al Shabaab militants near Mabah, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on November 18. Militia officials claimed the attack killed 20 militants.[xii]

Anti-al Shabaab forces secured the town of Cad-Caddewy, Bulo Burde district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on November 17.[xiii]

[i] Al Masdar Online, Twitter, November 18, 2022,

[ii] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, November 17, 2022,

[iii] Mareb Press, “Houthi Anti Ship Missile Fired,” November 18, 2022,

[iv] Al Montasaf, “A security commander survived and three soldiers were injured in a terrorist act in Abyan,” November 17, 2022,; and SMA News, “Urgent: Abyan.. the commander of the emergency forces with the security belts and the commander of a battalion in the 3rd Brigade survived a terrorist bombing in al Mahfad,” November 17, 2022,

[v] Al Mashad Al Yemeni, “An explosion targets the ‘transitional forces’ in Abyan, causing casualties,” November 18, 2022,

[vi] Hussein al Ezzi, Twitter, November 18, 2022,

[vii] Nicholas Carl, Johanna Moore, Amin Soltani, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. Kagan, “Iran Crisis Update, November 16,” The Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, November 16, 2022,

[viii] Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. Kagan, “Iran Crisis Update, November 17,” The Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, November 17, 2022,

[ix] United Nations, “Security Council Renews Sanctions Regime on Somalia, Mandate for Panel of Experts, Adopting Resolution 2662 (2022) by 11 Votes in Favor, 4 Abstentions,” November 17, 2022,

[x] Jamaal Maxamed, ”DF forces have taken over the front areas from Al-Shabaab,” Caasimada, November 17, 2022,

[xi] SONNA, “Al-Shabab see battlefield setbacks as SNA hunts terrorists’ remnants,” September 21, 2022,

[xii] Hiiraan Online, ”Ma’awisley Militias Ambush Al Shabab Base Killing 20 Al Shabab Militants,” November 18, 2022,

[xiii] Radio Dalsan, ”The government forces took over Al-Shabaab from Adcadey area today,” November 17, 2022,

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