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: The Jordanian government restricts travel between Jordan and Sana’a and Aden; STC Negotiation Affairs head threatens to expel the PLC from Aden; UN Envoy concludes meetings in Riyadh; Saudi Arabia sends five Saudi-trained Yemeni brigades to Aden; Houthis target Ma’rib city with drones, rockets, and missiles
Somalia: Al Shabaab suicide attack targets an SNA training base in Mogadishu; al Shabaab launches complex suicide attack against anti-al Shabaab forces in a recently captured town in north-central Somalia; SNA forces clear several towns in southern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
Jordan implemented new visa restrictions on Yemenis traveling from Sana’a or Aden to Amman, Jordan on November 6.[i] Jordan will subject Yemenis to a “security approval” unless the travel is for medical reasons. Travel between Amman and Sana’a for non-medical related reasons was a key component of Yemen’s truce, which began on April 2.[ii]
Southern Transitional Council (STC) Negotiation Affairs head Nasser al Khubaji threatened to prevent Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi’s return to the interim capital city of Aden in a statement on November 7. Khubaji said the STC would restore the “autonomous administration” of southern Yemen if the Yemeni government’s “messing around” in southern Yemen did not cease.[iii]
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg met with the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and “diplomats” from the United States, China, United Kingdom, France, and Russia to discuss Yemen’s truce and “political process” during a visit to Riyadh that concluded on November 7.[iv]
Saudi Arabia deployed five Saudi-trained Yemeni brigades from Saudi Arabia to Aden on November 7. The brigades will protect the Presidential Leadership Council and the various state institutions and vital facilities.[v]
The Houthis launched a series of rocket, drone, and missile strikes targeting civilians and government forces in Ma’rib on November 7.[vi] The strikes targeted a 3rd Military Region weapons depot, internally displaced persons camps, and residential areas.[vii]
Somalia Security Brief:
An al Shabaab suicide bomber targeted the front gate of a Somali National Army (SNA) training base in Mogadishu on November 5.[viii] The bomber disguised themselves as an SNA recruit. Somali sources reported the attack killed 10 people and wounded 15 more.[ix] Al Shabaab claimed the attack killed 105 soldiers and said fighters carried out simultaneously nine other grenade or mortar attacks across Mogadishu.[x]
Al Shabaab militants attacked SNA and local militia forces in Qayib, Dhusamareb district, Galgadud region, north-central Somalia, on November 7.[xi] Two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices targeted the base perimeter and destroyed a telecom mast.[xii] The SNA claimed to repel the attack and that the fighting killed 10 SNA soldiers and 20 militants.[xiii] Al Shabaab claimed to kill 37 soldiers and briefly seize the base but has not yet provided any supporting photo evidence.[xiv] SNA forces had previously cleared Qayib on October 25.[xv]
Somali forces cleared several towns in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia. NISA forces claimed to clear Galka-Salimow village and kill 21 al Shabaab fighters on November 5.[xvi] The SNA claimed to clear Katoy village and kill six al Shabaab militants on November 7.[xvii]
[ii] Christopher Muth, Max Ryabinin, and Brian Carter, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – April 4, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, April 4, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-april-4-2022#_ednc84c56c37ffabbc4a28f06a7c484b4687d45fc6a7eb0abcadc84440a8eede9bf1.
[iii] Mareb Press, “The STC threatens the presidency and the government and threatens to prevent President Al-Alimi from returning to Aden”, November 7, 2022, http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=188358&Ing=arabic.
[iv] Office of the Special Envoy to Yemen, @OSE_Yemen, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/OSE_Yemen/status/1589619994421100544.
[v] Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, “Composed of 5 brigades ready to carry out the mission.. the arrival of new Yemeni forces to Aden from Saudi Arabia”, November 7, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/243590.
[vi] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/Alsakaniali/status/1589643299522228224?s=20&t=mhjF2nUy47Y1seKkTcIfZQ.
[vii] Al Masdar Online, “Explosions in a weapons depot in a camp in Marib, following Houthi attacks targeting the city” November 7, 2022, https://almasdaronline.com/articles/263179; and Al Mashad Al Yemeni, “An explosion rocks Marib as a result of a Houthi missile attack”, November 7, 2022, http://almashhad-alyemeni.com/243592.
[viii] SNTV News, @sntvnews1, Twitter, November 5, 2022, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1588984512419352576.
[ix] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, November 5, 2022, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1588977945464348672.
[x] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims Capturing Base in Raid Involving Suicide Bombing in Galguduud, 9 Simultaneous Blasts in Mogadishu,” November 7, 2022, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[xi] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1589614918126346240.
[xii] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1589509272098201600; Shabelle Media Network, @ShabelleMedia, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/ShabelleMedia/status/1589583297298190336.
[xiii] Abdi Sheikh, ”Al Shabaab attack Somali military base, 10 soldiers killed,” Reuters, November 7, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/somali-army-repulse-al-shabaab-attack-military-base-defence-ministry-2022-11-07/.
[xiv] SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims Capturing Base in Raid Involving Suicide Bombing in Galguduud, 9 Simultaneous Blasts in Mogadishu.”
[xv] Halbeeg, ”SNA Forces Recapture Small Town in Central Somalia,” October 25, 2022, https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/10/25/sna-forces-recapture-small-town-in-central-somalia/.
[xvi] Harun Maruf, @HarunMaruf, Twitter, November 5, 2022, https://twitter.com/HarunMaruf/status/1589242263321726981.
[xvii] SNTV News, @sntvnews1, Twitter, November 7, 2022, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1589534769062514688.