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 and security forces clash in Hadramawt; gunmen kidnap soldier in al Dhaleh; Jamal Benomar confirms extension of transitional president; al Houthis prevent mediation committee from entering Damaj

Horn of Africa: Somali Prime Minister says security is top concern; Former Somali president demands an end to ongoing political rift; Ethiopia trains one thousand Somali soldiers

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked police searching houses near where they were hiding in Shihr, Hadramawt governorate on November 20. The clashes killed three police officers and three militants, including Muhammad al Masbahi, the Special Forces chief of staff. Security forces arrested several female militants believed to be Saudi nationals.[1]
  • Gunmen kidnapped an unknown soldier of the 33rd Armored Brigade in al Dhaleh city on November 20.[2]
  • UN Envoy Jamal Benomar confirmed that President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s term will be extended if the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) does not reach a conclusion on time. The General People’s Congress (GPC), the party headed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposes extending Hadi’s term even though Hadi is also a member of the party.[3]
  • Salafist spokesmen in Damaj, Serour al Wadei said on November 20 that the al Houthis prevented the presidential and parliamentary mediation committees from Damaj, Sa’ada governorate. He said al Houthis continued shelling the area with heavy artillery, killing at least twenty people. Al  Wadei claimed the al Houthis planned to storm Damaj and massacre the Salafists.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon emphasized that security remains the top priority for the federal government on November 20.[5]
  • Former Somali President of the Transitional National Government Abdiqasim Salad Hassan called on President Hassan Sheik Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon to resolve the ongoing political dispute on November 19.[6]
  • One thousand Somali soldiers completed training directed by Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu on November 17.[7]

[1] “Six Dead as Police Clash with al Qaeda Suspects in Yemen,” AFP, November 20, 2013. Available:
“Yemen Arrests Suspected Female al Qaeda Militants,” AP, November 20, 2013. Available:
[2] “Unknown Men Kidnap Soldier from the 33rd Armored Brigade in Downtown al Dhaleh,” al Khabar Now, November 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Directives to Extend the Term of the Transitional President in Yemen,” Samaa News, November 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Al Houthis Prevent the Presidential and Parliamentary Committees and the Red Cross from Entering Damaj and Continue Violent Shelling,” Nashwa News, November 20, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Yemen: Houthi-Salafist Ceasefire Negotiations Breakdown,” Aawsat, November 20, 2013. Available:
[5] “Shirdon says security remains government’s top priority,” Bar Kulan, November 20, 2013. Available:
[6] “Ex. Somalia President calls on Federal Govt leaders to end Political Dispute,” Garowe, November 19, 2013. Available:
[7] “Somalia: 1000 Somali Soldiers Complete Military Training in Mogadishu,” Hiiraan, November 20, 2013. Available;
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