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 detonates IED targeting STC forces in Abyan; AQAP detonates two IEDs targeting STC forces in Abyan in separate attack; AQAP announces “new stage” of attacks in southern Yemen; Houthi National Redeployment Team in Hudaydah meets with UN Mission to Support Hudaydah Agreement
Somalia: Anti-al Shabaab forces pre-emptively attack large al Shabaab force in central Somalia; Al Shabaab attacks anti-al Shabaab forces in recently liberated villages in central Somalia; al Shabaab assassinates a district governor in southern Somalia; al Shabaab claims to capture a police base in northeastern Kenya; the Somali government bans al Shabaab–affiliated media
Yemen Security Brief:
Likely al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting Southern Transitional Council (STC)-aligned forces in Wadi Amran, Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on October 9.[i] The AQAP IED killed four STC soldiers and wounded three more.
Likely AQAP militants detonated two IEDs targeting STC-aligned forces in Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate on October 10, killing six soldiers and wounding two more.[ii]
AQAP said that it will engage in a “new stage” of “ambushes and explosive devices” targeting anti-AQAP forces in southern Yemen on October 12.[iii] The group also warned locals to “avoid helping or… being near ‘UAE mercenaries’” on October 11.[iv]
The Houthi “National Redeployment Team” head in Hudaydah called on the UN to stop the Saudi-led coalition’s “piracy” targeting oil and gas products and refused to address “marginal matters” during a meeting with the head of the UN Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement on October 12.[v]
Somalia Security Brief:
The Somali National Army (SNA), local militia forces, and Djiboutian African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops attacked al Shabaab militants near the town of Jicibow, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on October 9.[vi] A large al Shabaab force reportedly gathered in the area to destroy the local militia and SNA forces at Jicibow and cut off the road between Beledweyne and Bulo Burde to regain control of the areas around Bulo Burde town.[vii] Local militia, SNA, and ATMIS soldiers from Yasooman and Bulo Burde reinforced the fighters in Jicibow to encircle the al Shabaab militants.[viii] The SNA claimed on October 11 that anti-al Shabaab fighters killed over 250 al Shabaab militants, captured 10, and seized large quantities of ammunition over multiple days.[ix] The SNA claimed on October 12 that the operation killed al Shabaab's leader for the Hiraan region.[x]
Al Shabaab militants attacked SNA and local militia forces near the towns of Yasooman and Beero Yabaal, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on October 12. Al Shabaab claimed it overran three SNA bases, captured nine military vehicles, and killed 117 SNA and militia members.[xi] The SNA claimed it repelled the attack with air support, killed 50 militants, and lost three SNA soldiers.[xii]
Al Shabaab assassinated the governor of Qoryoley district with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Qoryooley, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on October 11.[xiii]
Al Shabaab claimed to attack Kenya Police Reserve forces near the town of Libayo, Arabiya district, Mandera region, northern Kenya, on October 12. Al Shabaab claimed it captured a police base after the police fled.[xiv]
The Somali Federal Government (SFG) banned al Shabaab-affiliated websites and reporting on “terrorist ideology and acts of intimidation” on October 8.[xv] Government authorities arrested the Secretary General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate in Mogadishu on October 11 after he had criticized the SFG’s order.[xvi] The SFG likely shut down Calamada, an al Shabaab-affiliated news website, on October 12.
[i] Yemen Future, “4 soldiers from the southern forces were killed and 3 others were wounded by an explosive device explosion east of Abyan governorate,” October 9, 2022, https://yemenfuture.net/news/10945.
[ii] Mareb Press, “The killing of 6 soldiers of the transitional forces in Abyan… and the accusation of al Qaeda,” October 10, 2022, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=187770.
[iv] Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, October 11, 2022, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/1579887147431366657?s=20&t=79DnwyWOlTXTBPhUfTqG1g.
[v] Al Masirah, “During his meeting with General Berry.. Major General al Mushki stresses the need to stop the UN mission to piracy the countries of aggression,” October 12, 2022, https://www.masirahtv.net/post/221517/.
[vi] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, October 10, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1579481131258621961.
[vii] Asad Cabdullahi Mataan, “The armed forces thwarted al Shabaab’s plan in Hiran,” Caasimada, October 11, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/ciidanka-xoogga-oo-fashiliyey-qorshe-ay-al-shabaab-ka-damacsanaayeen-hiiraan/.
[viii] SNTV News, @sntvnews1, Twitter, October 9, 2022, https://twitter.com/sntvnews1/status/1579207841017364480?s=20&t=B-SPXOu78tFRIN2pA9N4WQ.
[ix] Halbeeg, ”Military operation concluded in central Somalia, over 200 al-Shabaab fighters,“ October 11, 2022, https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/10/11/military-operation-concluded-in-central-somalia-over-200-al-shabaab-fighters/.
[x] Goobjoog News, ”Hiiraan-based Al-Shabaab leader among 20 terrorists killed in Jicibow,” October 12, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/hiiraan-based-al-shabaab-leader-among-20-terrorists-killed-in-jicibow/.
[xi] Radio al Furqaan, “Al-Shabaab claimed that 117 soldiers were killed in the fighting outside Buloburde this morning,” October 12, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/10/al-shabaab-oo-sheegay-in-117-askari-ay-ku-dileen-dagaaladii-saaka-ka-dhacay-duleedka-buuloburde/.
[xii] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, October 12, 2022, https://twitter.com/GaroweOnline/status/1580106666288128000;
Mogdishu Online, “The army killed more than 50 Al-Shabaab militants,” October 12, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/ciidanka-xoogga-dalka-oo-dilay-50-katirsan-maleeshiyada-al-shabaab/.
[xiii] Puntland Post, ”The governor of Qoryooley district was killed in an explosion,” October 11, 2022, https://puntlandpost.net/2022/10/11/gudoomiyihii-degmada-qoryooley-oo-qarax-lagu-dilay/.
[xiv] Radio al Furqaan, “Al-Shabaab attacked a Kenyan base in Mandera,” October 12, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/10/al-shabaab-oo-cagta-mariyay-saldhig-ay-kenya-ku-lahayd-mandheera/.
[xv] Al Jazeera, ”Somalia orders media not to publish al-Shabab ’propaganda,’” October 8, 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/8/somalia-bans-media-to-publish-al-shababs-propaganda.
[xvi] Hiiraan Online, ”SJS leader arrested after criticizing ’blanket ban’ on extremism reporting,” October 11, 2022, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2022/Oct/188210/sjs_leader_arrested_after_criticizing_blanket_ban_on_extremism_reporting.aspx.