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: Suspected AQAP militants detonate SVBIED at intelligence building in al Hudaydah city; coalition deploys missile defense systems in Ma’rib and Aden; coalition airstrike targets Yemeni speaker of parliament; the battle for Taiz intensifies
Horn of Africa: KDF and Jubbaland security forces rescue kidnapped NGO worker in Dhagaha, Lower Jubba region; grenade detonates at police station in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region; gunmen in SNA uniforms rape and rob stopped passengers at illegal roadblocks near Mareeray, Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
- Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked an intelligence building al Hudaydah, a Red Sea port city on October 16. The militants reportedly detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at the rear of the building while attacking its front gate with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The attack killed 10 soldiers and two militants.
- Saudi-led coalition forces are setting up Patriot missile defense systems in Ma’rib and Aden. The coalition intercepted a Scud ballistic missile fired by al Houthi forces toward Ma’rib governorate on October 15, according to reports. Pro-al Houthi media sources reported that the al Houthis also launched a Katyusha rocket attack on a coalition military base in Ma’rib. On September 4, an SS-21 “Scarab” missile struck a weapons cache at a coalition base in Ma’rib and killed more than 50 coalition soldiers.
- Coalition airstrikes targeted the house of Yemen’s speaker of parliament in Dhamar governorate, central Yemen on October 16, killing his son and an aide. The coalition is currently targeting influential politicians, according to reports.
- Clashes intensified between popular resistance forces and al Houthi militias in the streets of Taiz city, central Yemen. Anti-al Houthi forces have been trying to recapture the city for months, and recently took control of the city’s center, which is under siege by al Houthi militias. AQAP militants are reportedly fighting alongside popular resistance forces against the al Houthis in Taiz.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Joint Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) and Jubbaland security forces rescued a Kenyan non-governmental organization (NGO) worker who was kidnapped by suspected al Shabaab militants on October 12, from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The rescue operation occurred on October 16 in Dhagaha town, located within Somalia’s Lower Jubba region. After receiving a tip-off from local residents, KDF and Jubbaland security forces raided the house and successfully rescued the kidnap victim, killing four militants in the process.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants threw a grenade at a police headquarters building in Jowhar, Middle Shabelle region, on October 15. The grenade successfully detonated, although casualty figures for the attack are currently unavailable.
- Unidentified gunmen wearing Somali National Army (SNA) robbed and raped five bus passengers on October 16, along the road near Mareeray town in the Lower Shabelle region, according to reports. Drivers reported that individuals dressed in SNA uniforms frequently set up illegal checkpoints along the roads in the region and demand money from people passing by, despite SNA efforts to clear the checkpoints.