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: President Trump confirms 2017 death of AQAP bomb maker in Yemen; Saudi forces deploy to Shabwah governorate; UAE-backed forces claim to control most of northern Dhaleh governorate

Horn of Africa: SFG President appoints new military commanders; SNA releases video of al Shabaab defectors in Gedo region

Yemen Security Brief

President Trump confirmed the death of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al Asiri, in a 2017 US counterterrorism operation in Yemen on October 10. Al Asiri was behind multiple plots to attack the US homeland. He designed an “underwear bomb” that a terrorist attempted to detonate on a Detroit-bound flight in 2009.[1]

Saudi forces deployed to Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen on October 10. Yemeni media have reported in recent days that Saudi Arabia plans to establish a joint force with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist organization, in Shabwah governorate. The force would be part of a Saudi-brokered deal to end a conflict between the STC and President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government.[2]

UAE-backed Southern Joint Forces claimed to seize the al Fakher area in northern Dhaleh governorate in southwestern Yemen on October 8 and October 9. The Yemeni forces claimed to kill 115 al Houthi soldiers in the operation. The forces claimed to be in control of 80% of northern Dhaleh and announced that they will push into neighboring Ibb governorate.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali Federal Government (SFG) President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo promoted two Somali National Army (SNA) generals to key leadership positions on October 10. Farmajo appointed Brigadier General Mohamed Ali Barise as the new Chief of Staff of the Army and Brigadier General Abdihamid Mohamed Dirir as the new Commander of Land Forces.[4]

The SNA released a video showing two al Shabaab defectors in Garbaharey town in Gedo region in southwestern Somalia on October 10. The defectors recently turned themselves into local authorities, according to SNA media.[5]

Visit our YemenSomaliaSaudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates storystreams.

[1] “Trump Conforms Dead of Chief al Qaeda Bombmaker in Yemen Operation”, Washington Examiner, October 10, 2019,

[2] “Saudi Reinforcements Arrive in Shabwa in Preparation for the Return of the Government to Aden”, al Mashad al Yemeni, October 10, 2019

[3] Dozens of Rebels Killed as Southern Forces Make Gains on Yemen Front”, The National, October 9, 2019,

[4] Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 10, 2019,

[5] Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 10, 2019,

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