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: Southern militia attacks Hadi government forces in Aden city, southern Yemen; al Houthi forces continue attack on Saleh forces in Sana’a governorate, northern Yemen; AQAP militants attack Emirati-backed forces in Shabwah governorate, eastern Yemen; AQAP militants raid al Houthi-Saleh position in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen; ISIS Wilayat al Bayda destroys al Houthi-Saleh vehicle in al Bayda governorate, central Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab grenade attack targets Puntland presidential security guards; U.S. airstrike hits al Shabaab base in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia; SNA raids al Shabaab bases in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

A southern resistance militia led by Abu Hammam al Yafei attacked Hadi government Presidential Protection forces with small and medium arms near Salah al Din camp, al Buraiqeh district, Aden city, southern Yemen on November 30. Presidential Protection forces reportedly appealed for reinforcements from Emirati forces at a Saudi-led coalition camp but received no response. Al Yafei’s forces and Emirati-backed al Hizam Security Forces blocked a road leading to al Buraiqeh. Hadi government Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghir cancelled a November 30 Independence Day celebration to take place near Salah al Din in response to the clashes. Supporters of the Emirati-backed Transitional Political Council of the South (STC) celebrated Independence Day in Crater district, Aden city.[1] 

Al Houthi forces attacked forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the political center of Sana’a city, northern Yemen on November 30. Al Houthi forces also stormed the al Saleh Mosque and fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and grenades at Saleh-aligned forces in Sana’a city on November 29. Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) party released a statement blaming the al Houthi movement for the clashes and subsequent casualties.[2]

Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked Emirati-backed Shabwani Elite Forces with small arms, killing five troops near al Musayniah junction, Ataq city, Shabwah governorate, eastern Yemen on November 30. AQAP frames its attacks on Emirati-backed forces as in reprisal for transgressions against the local population.[3]

AQAP claimed it raided an al Houthi-Saleh position between Jabal Jamida and Jabal al Thaleb in northwestern al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on November 29. AQAP also claimed to shell al Houthi-Saleh positions in al Zub area, al Qurayshiya district, al Bayda governorate on November 30.[4]

Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat al Bayda claimed it destroyed an al Houthi-Saleh armored vehicle in Zahara district, al Bayda governorate, central Yemen on November 30. ISIS militants last claimed to destroy another armored vehicle in Wald Rabi’ district, al Bayda on November 16.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

An al Shabaab militant threw a grenade at a vehicle transporting Puntland State presidential security guards in Boosaaso, Puntland, northern Somalia on November 30. The attack occurred near a crowd of hundreds of residents demonstrating against an increase in tariffs on imported goods in Boosaaso. The frequency of al Shabaab attacks in northern Somalia decreased after Puntland security forces cleared several militant hideouts in the Almadow Mountains in Sanaag region on October 29.[6]

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting an al Shabaab base in Torotorow town in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on November 30. The U.S. has conducted approximately a dozen airstrikes against al Shabaab and ISIS militants in Somalia in November 2017. AFRICOM also denied claims that Somali National Army (SNA) forces supported by U.S. Special Operations Forces killed civilians during a raid in Bartire, Lower Shabelle region on August 25.[7]  

SNA forces raided several al Shabaab bases near Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on November 29. The forces recaptured territory outside Qoryooley and detained one militant. Al Shabaab attacked SNA and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces near Qoryooley five times in the past week.[8] 

[1] “The government cancels a military ceremony in Aden after violent clashes between presidential protection and movement,” Al Masdar, November 30, 2017,; “Crowds flock to Jendi Square to celebrate the November 30 anniversary,” Aden Tomorrow, November 30, 2017,; “Security forces close the road of al Buraiqeh and pledge to prevent the passage of the convoy of bin Daghir,” Aden Tomorrow, November 30, 2017,; “The closure of roads to al Buraiqeh and clashes continue,” Aden Tomorrow, November 30, 2017,; “Military reinforcements in al Buraiqeh to support and prevent a government independence celebration,” Aden Tomorrow, November 30, 2017,; and Ahmed bin Daghir, Facebook, November 30, 2017,
[2] “Renewed battles between the Houthis and Saleh,” Aden Lang, November 30, 2017,; “Details of what is happening now in the capital Sana'a,” Ababil, November 30, 2017,; “Tension in Sana’a after clashes between the rebels,” Aden al Hadath, November 30, 2017,; “Clashes kill four in Yemen capital as anti-Saudi alliance frays,” Reuters, November 29, 2017,; and “Urgent: Statement issued by Al Motamar and its allies on the events that took place in the capital today,” November 29, 2017,
[3] “A group of 5 Shabwani Elite soldiers killed near Ataq city,” Al Masdar, November 30, 2017,; and Demolinari, Twitter, November 30, 2017,
[4] Attack on al Houthi-Saleh site in al Bayda, Telegram, November 30, 2017; and Artillery attack on al Houthi-Saleh site in al Bayda, Telegram, November 30, 2017.
[5] Maher Farrukh, Twitter, November 30, 2017,
[6] “Somalia: Puntland Presidential guards wounded in Boosaaso blast,” Garowe Online, November 30, 2017,; Al Shabaab claims attack on Puntland guards, Telegram, November 30, 2017; and “Six Puntland presidential guards injured in grenade attack,” Goobjoog, November 30, 2017,
[7] “An Airstrike Hits Al Shabaab Stronghold Area In Somalia,” Radio Shabelle, November 29, 2017,; and “Aug. 25 civilian casualty allegation assessment results released,” AFRICOM, November 30, 2017,
[8] “Somali Govt Forces Ambush Al Shabaab Bases Near Qoryoley Town,” Radio Shabelle, November 30, 2017,

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