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: Al Houthi militants target AQAP; U.S. State Department offers cash rewards for information on AQAP’s leadership; Southern Movement issues deadline for Yemni military to leave South; Saudi border guards clash with tribal militants in Sa’ada; air strike kills AQAP militants in Shabwah
Horn of Africa: U.S. Department of State warns of imminent al Shabaab attack in Ethiopia; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate VBIED in Mogadishu; unidentified gunmen target government official in Gedo region; Local militias clash and attack civilians in Hiraan and Lower Shabelle regions
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Houthi militants are reportedly carrying out operations targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) strongholds south of Sana’a. Al Houthi militants seized control of Ibb City, Ibb, south of Sana’a, on October 15. Reports indicate that security forces put up little resistance to the al Houthi’s advance. Separately, al Houthi gunmen attacked AQAP supporters in Rada’a, al Bayda on October 15, resulting in the deaths of over a dozen al Houthi and AQAP militants. Additionally, the Yemeni air force reportedly launched air strikes against AQAP positions in Rada’a.
- The U.S. State Department announced a total of $45 million in reward money for information on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) leadership on October 14.
- Yemen’s Southern Movement issued a deadline to all civil servants and soldiers to depart from the South by November 30. Additionally, the Southern Movement asked all foreign oil firms to cease exporting oil from South Yemen on October 15.
- Saudi border guards clashed with a Yemeni tribe in Sa’ada near the Saudi Arabian border on October 14, after the Saudis allegedly attempted to establish security checkpoints within Yemen. No casualties were reported in the fighting.
- An air strike killed three AQAP suporters in Mayfaa, Shabwah on October 15. Yemen’s Ministry of Defense announced the target of the attack was Mahdi Badas, also known as Abu Hussein. Separately, two suspected AQAP militants assassinated the Yemeni Chief of Logistics for the Military in Sana’a on October 15.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The U.S. Embassy to Ethiopia issued a security message to U.S. citizens in country on October 14 warning of an imminent al Shabaab attack in the Bole area of Addis Ababa in central Ethiopia. The U.S. advised residents to maintain increased security awareness and to avoid frequented public areas, including restaurants, hotels, bars, malls, and places of worship.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), killing two people and injuring six others, in Mogadishu on October 15. The attack was the third VBIED explosion in the capital in four days.
- Unidentified gunmen attacked the residence of the Vice President of the Westland regional administratio in Garbaharey, Gedo region on October 15. The Somali official was unharmed and no casualties were reported.
- Rival clan militias clashed, killing 12 and injured more than forty others, in Deefow, Hiraan region on October 14. Separately, armed militiamen fired upon a civilian truck at an illegal roadblock, killing one civilian and injuring two others, in Afgoi, Lower Shabelle region on October 15.