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 targets STC-aligned forces in Abyan governorate; oil production in Hadramawt stops due to Houthi attacks; US envoy meets Saudi and Emirati officials to discuss truce
Somalia: Anti-al Shabaab forces clear a strategic town in south-central Somalia with US drone support; Al Shabaab militants attempt to assassinate the Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeting the Southern Transitional Council (STC)-aligned 1st Support and Reinforcement Brigade (SRB) in al Mahfad district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen on November 4.[i] The 1st SRB Brigade was clearing a suspected AQAP camp in the area. Yemeni media reported the IEDs killed two to three STC-aligned soldiers and wounded four others. [ii]
A Canada-based oil company suspended all ongoing oil production operations in al Khasha’a, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen on November 2. The company suspended operations after oil exports from Hadramawt paused due to Houthi attacks on oil export facilities.[iii]
US Envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking travelled to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi and Emirati officials in order to discuss further truce proposals for the war in Yemen[iv]. The United States State Department said “the only path forward” is to enact and sustain a “durable ceasefire” in an official statement on November 3.[v]
Somalia Security Brief:
Somali National Army (SNA) Danab commandos and local Ma'awisley militia forces cleared El Hareri, Aden Yabal district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on November 4. Al Shabaab said it launched a surprise attack on the Ma’awisley on November 3. [vi] SNA Danab commandos and local militia counterattacked al Shabaab militants in the town on November 4. United States drone strikes supported the SNA attack.[vii] The SNA claimed its forces killed over 100 militants.[viii] Al Shabaab claimed it killed 36 SNA soldiers.[ix]
Al Shabaab militants attempted to assassinate the deputy mayor of Mogadishu with an improvised explosive device near Daynile district, Mogadishu, on November 3.[x] The explosion killed a soldier and two civilians and wounded 11 others.[xi] Al Shabaab claimed that the explosion killed five soldiers and wounded three others.[xii]
[i] SMA News, “Abyan.. 5 soldiers from the southern forces were killed and injured in the two explosion of two explosive devices in Al-Mahfad district”, November 4, 2022, https://smanews.org/%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%ac%d9%86%d9%88%d8%a8-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%b9%d8%b1%d8%a8%d9%8a/306013/.
[ii] Al Mashad al Yemeni, “3 soldiers were killed and others wounded by an explosive device, Babin”, November 4, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/243380.
[iii] Mahra Post, “A foreign oil company announces the suspension of oil exports from the Hadramawt and Shabwa fields due to the fullness of reservoirs”, November 2, 2022, https://almahrahpost.com/news/34167.
[iv] News Yemen Politics, “The US envoy visits the UAE and Saudi Arabia to reinforce the truce in Yemen”, November 3, 2022, https://www.newsyemen.net/new/89068.
[v] U.S. Department of State, “U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking’s Travel to the UAE and Saudi Arabia”, November 3, 2022, https://www.state.gov/u-s-special-envoy-for-yemen-lenderkings-travel-to-the-uae-and-saudi-arabia/.
[vi] Somalimemo, “A disastrous battle took place in an area near Moqakori,” November 3, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/17191/Dagaal-Khasaara-dhaliyay-oo-ka-dhacay-deegaan-ku-dhow-Moqakori.
[x] Goobjoog News, “Three People Including Two Children Killed in IED Blast in Daynille District,” November 3, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/three-people-including-two-children-killed-in-ied-blast-in-daynille-district/.
[xi] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, November 3, 2022, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1588095309971849218.
[xii] Somalimemo, ”An explosion caused damage and targeted a DF official in Dayniile district,” November 3, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/17190/Qarax-Khasaare-dhaliyay-oo-degmada-Dayniile-lagula-beegsaday-masuul-katirsan-DF.