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 fighters target UAE-backed forces in two separate IED attacks, Yemeni officials meet with the King of Jordan, Yemeni ministers meet with Emirati officials, Houthi forces attack a checkpoint with drones

Somalia: Al Shabaab militants besiege the Somali Presidential Palace; anti-al Shabaab forces clear a crossroads town in south-central Somalia with US drone support; al Shabaab militants attack SNA forces with a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in north-central Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting UAE-back Yemeni forces in two separate attacks. The first IED targeted the 1st Shabwani Defense Forces Brigade near al Musina’a, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen, on November 26.[i] The attack killed three fighters and injured three more.[ii] The second attack targeted UAE-backed 5th Giants Brigade fighters near al Nasara, Ataq district, Shabwah governorate on the same day. The second IED killed one Giants Brigades fighter and injured one more.

Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi and Presidential Leadership Council Vice Presidents Tariq Saleh and Abdullah al Alimi met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, in Amman, Jordan, on November 28. The participants discussed developments in Yemen and regional trade.[iii]

The Yemeni defense minister and legal affairs and human rights minister departed to visit Abu Dhabi, UAE on November 26.[iv] The Yemeni defense minister will discuss increased threats to oil ports and facilities posed by Houthi forces. The two parties will also discuss defense collaboration between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.[v]

The Houthis fired at least one explosive-laden drone targeting a Yemeni 23rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade checkpoint near al Alam, Hadramawt, southeastern Yemen on November 22. Multiple missiles struck the checkpoint, killing two soldiers and injuring three more.[vi]

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab besieged the Villa Somalia presidential complex in Mogadishu on November 27.[vii] At least one suicide bomber and five more militants breached and laid siege to the Villa Rose hotel, which government officials frequent.[viii] The militants killed at least eight civilians and one police officer.[ix] Security forces ended the siege on November 28 after 20 hours.[x]

Somali National Army (SNA), National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA), and local Ma’awisley militia forces cleared El Dheere, Adale district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on November 26.[xi] The SNA claimed a US drone strike assisted the operation.[xii] The SNA claimed that the operation killed 100 al Shabaab militants, including 10 ringleaders.[xiii]

Al Shabaab attacked SNA and local militia forces with a complex suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) raid near Qayib, Dhusamareb district, Galgadud region, north-central Somalia, on November 25.[xiv] Al Shabaab claimed to overrun the army base in the area.[xv] The SNA claimed it repelled the attack and destroyed three SVBIEDs before they could do any damage.[xvi]

[i] Yemen Future, “3 people were killed by an explosive device in an al-Qaeda attack”, November 26, 2022,

[ii] SMA News, “A security commander in Shabwa Defense was killed in an armed ambush”, November 26, 2022,

[iii] Mareb Press, “President Al-Alimi and two of his deputies arrive in Jordan”, November 28, 2022,

[iv] 26 Sep (ROYG), “Defense Minister heads to UAE on an official visit”, November 26, 2022,

[v] 26 Sep (ROYG), “Defense Minister heads to UAE on an official visit”, November 26, 2022,

[vi] News Yemen, “Dead and wounded in a drone attack on a checkpoint in Al-Abr”, November 24, 2022,

[vii] Mohamed Dhaysane, “Security Forces in Somalia End Al-Shabab Siege,” Voice of America, November 28, 2022,

[viii] Hussein Mohamed and Declan Walsh, “Nine Civilians Killed in Militant Siege at a Mogadishu Hotel,” New York Times, November 27, 2022,

[ix] Emmanuel Igunza and Sam Hancock, “Somalia Villa Rays attack: Siege ends leaving eight civilians dead,” BBC News, November 28, 2022,

[x] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, November 28, 2022,

[xi] SONNA, “Deputy Minister of Information holds press statement; more than 100 terrorists killed,” November 26, 2022,

[xii] Radio Dalsan, “DF spoke about the casualties caused by the heavy operation that took place in the Eeldheere area,” November 26, 2022,

[xiii] Horseed Media, “DFS said that more than 100 Al-Shabaab members were killed in the attack,” November 26, 2022,

[xiv] Horseed Media, “A battle between Al-Shabaab government forces in Qayyib area,” November 25, 2022,

[xv] Radio Dalsan, “The latest news is that Al-Shabaab attacked Qayyib area this morning,” November 25, 2022,

[xvi] SONNA, “National troops and locals repulses terror attack in Qayib village,” November 25, 2022,

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