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: Al Houthi movement and forces loyal to former President Saleh clash after Saleh distances himself from ballistic missile campaign against Saudi Arabia; ISIS detonates VBIED in Aden city, southern Yemen; AQAP detonates IED targeting Emirati-backed forces in Zinjibar city, southern Yemen
Horn of Africa: ISIS in Somalia and al Shabaab claim to assassinate SNA soldier in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia; SNA forces recapture town in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia; al Shabaab militants raid KDF and SNA base in Lower Jubba region, southern Somalia; ethnic violence kills fifty civilians in South Sudan
Yemen Security Brief
Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh called on “decision makers” to stop firing ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, if the Saudi-led coalition ends its bombing campaign and lifts its blockade on Yemen during a speech on November 28 commemorating the 50th anniversary of South Yemen’s independence. Al Houthi forces clashed with forces loyal to Saleh outside al Saleh Mosque in the political center of Sana’a city, northern Yemen on November 29 following the speech. Leader of the al Houthi movement Abdul Malik al Houthi accused Saleh and his followers of not understanding the concepts of alliance and partnership on November 25. Saleh also urged the al Houthi movement not to believe those who are trying to fracture the al Houthi-Saleh bloc.
Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Aden-Abyan militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) targeting the Ministry of Finance building in district, Aden city, southern Yemen on November 29. The VBIED killed four people and caused severe damage to the building. ISIS Wilayat Aden-Abyan militants conducted two other large-scale VBIED attacks in Aden in November.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces in city, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on November 28. AQAP received information that Commander of al Hizam in Abyan governorate Abdul Latif al Sayyed would be traveling west towards Zinjibar. AQAP militants also detonated IEDs targeting al Sayyed in Mahfad district, Abyan on November 28.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
Both al Shabaab and ISIS in Somalia claimed responsibility for the assassination of a Somali National Army (SNA) soldier in Afgoi, region, southern Somalia on November 29. Pro-ISIS Amaq News Agency published a video of the assassination. Al Shabaab conducts frequent attacks in Afgoi and the surrounding regions. ISIS is based in northern Somalia but has claimed isolated attacks in southern Somalia in the past.
The SNA captured Balad Amin town in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia from al Shabaab on November 29. The Somali Federal Government recently initiated a new counter-al Shabaab offensive to clear militants from southern Somalia in response to the October 14 bombing that killed over 300 civilians in Mogadishu. Balad Amin is in the Wanlaweyn district of the Lower Shabelle region less than ten miles from the U.S.’s Baledogle Forward Operating Base.
Al Shabaab militants raided a joint Kenyan Defense Force (KDF)-SNA base in Hosingow, region, southern Somalia on November 29. The militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) and attacked the base with small arms. Hosingow is located approximately 20 miles from the Somali-Kenyan border.
South Sudanese tribal militants killed over fifty ethnic Dinka civilians in the state, eastern South Sudan on November 27 and 28. The militants are members of the rival Murle tribe in the Boma state, South Sudan. The Dinka and Murle tribes signed a peace agreement to cease hostilities in December 2016 but broke the accord in March 2017 after Dinka militants captured a Murle-majority city in the Boma state. The Dinka tribe is the largest in South Sudan, comprising over 35% of the population including South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
 “Transcript: Saleh’s speech on the occasion of South Yemen’s independence,” Al Motamar, November 28, 2017, http://almotamar.net/news/140796.htm; “Al Houthi: Saleh and his supporters know only how to oppose us,” Aden Lang, November 28, 2017, http://adenghd.net/news/289777/; “Saleh disengages from his partnership in launching ballistic missiles towards the Kingdom,” 26 September News, November 28, 2017, http://www.26sepnews.net/2017/11/28/%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD-%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%B5%D9%84-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%B4%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%AA%D9%87-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A5%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AE/; “Tensions between al Houthi-Saleh bloc,” Aden Lang, November 28, 2017, http://adnlng.com/news/83255/; “The latest developments of the clashes between the Huthis and Saleh in Sana’a,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, November 29, 2017, http://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/topics/17/11/29/98647.html; “Dead and wounded in clashes between al Houthi and Saleh fighters,” Aden Lang, November 29, 2017, http://adnlng.com/news/83380/; and “Gunfire erupts in Yemen capital as anti-Saudi alliance frays,” Reuters, November 29, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/gunfire-erupts-in-yemen-capital-as-anti-saudi-alliance-frays-idUSKBN1DT1ZS.
 “Eight people were killed and injured in a bombing targeting the Ministry of Finance building in Aden,” Al Masdar, November 29, 2017, http://almasdaronline.com/article/95817; “Daesh claims responsibility for car bomb in Aden,” Al Masdar, November 29, 2017, http://almasdaronline.com/article/95818; “Violent car explosion rocks Aden, kills 4,” Al Arabiya, November 29, 2017, https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/11/29/Violent-car-explosion-rocks-Aden.html; “‘AMAQ reports IS’ responsibility for car bombing outside Yemeni Ministry of Finance in Aden,” SITE, November 29, 2017, available by subscription at ent.siteintelgroup.com; and Demolinari, Twitter, November 29, 2017, https://twitter.com/demolinari/status/935659968820215808.
 AQAP detonates IED targeting al Hizam in Zinjibar, Telegram, November 29, 2017; and Demolinari, Twitter, November 29, 2017, https://twitter.com/demolinari/status/935839813906735104.
 Video Shows Is Assassination Of Somali Soldier In Afgoye, SITE, November 29, 2017, available by subscription at ent.siteintelgroup.com; “Al Shabaab militants assassinate a SNA officer in Afgoi,” Telegram, November 29, 2017; and Bruce Wright, “Where Is ISIS? Islamic State Kills Somalia Spy in Mogadishu: Report,” IB Times, March 27, 2017, http://www.ibtimes.com/where-isis-islamic-state-kills-somalia-spy-mogadishu-report-2515835.
 “Somali forces recapture Baladul Amin in Lower Shabelle region,” Goobjoog News, November 29, 2017, http://goobjoog.com/english/somali-forces-recapture-baladul-amin-in-lower-shabelle-region/.
 Al Shabaab militants raid KDF and SNA base in Hosingow, Telegram, November 29, 2017.
 “50 dead in South Sudan tribal raids,” Daily Nation, November 29, 2017, http://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/50-dead-in-South-Sudan-tribal-raids/1066-4207894-11nki4j/index.html.