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: Hadi government and STC expected to sign agreement; Saudi Arabia deploys additional forces to Shabwah; Hadi government authorizes oil shipments to al Hudaydah port

Horn of Africa: SNA troops kill al Shabaab militants in Gedo region; al Shabaab vows to continue attacking Western forces in Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, are expected to sign an agreement in Saudi Arabia on October 17 to resolve a conflict in southern Yemen. STC-aligned forces seized Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, from the Hadi government in early August, prompting weeks of clashes in multiple locations in southern Yemen. The two sides have been involved in indirect talks brokered by Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. The agreement is expected to call for the STC’s inclusion in President Hadi’s cabinet as well as Saudi supervision of security forces in Aden.[1]

Saudi Arabia deployed additional forces to Ataq, the capital of Shabwah governorate in southern Yemen, on October 15. STC-aligned forces clashed with Hadi government-aligned forces in Ataq in late August, prompting Saudi forces to deploy to the city to oversee a ceasefire.[2]

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government allowed ten ships to deliver oil to the al Houthi-controlled al Hudaydah port in western Yemen in recent days, according to Jordanian media. The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a blockade on al Hudaydah port.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Somali National Army (SNA) troops killed 11 al Shabaab militants during an operation on the outskirts of Bardhere town in Somalia’s western Gedo region on October 15. SNA troops recovered hundreds of livestock that the militants had seized from locals in the area.[4]

Al Shabaab’s al Kata’ib Media Foundation released a statement on October 15 emphasizing the group’s commitment to attacking Western military forces in Somalia. The statement follows three separate attempted al Shabaab attacks on Western military personnel in southern Somalia. Al Qaeda separately released a statement on October 16 praising al Shabaab’s September 30 attack on a US airbase in southern Somalia. The attack failed to kill any US or Somali troops.[5]

Visit our YemenSomalia, and Saudi Arabia storystreams.

[1] “Yemeni government, separatists seen inking deal to end Aden standoff this week,” Reuters, October 16, 2019,

[2] “Saudi forces arrives in Ataq in Shabwah governorate,” Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, October 16, 2019,; and Barnett, James, “Yemen File – September 10, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 12, 2019,

[3] “Yemen hopes an imminent breakthrough for the fuel crisis,” al Bawaba, October 16, 2019,أعمال/اليمن-يأمل-بانفراج-وشيك-لأزمة-الوقود-1315233.

[4] “Somalia army kills militants trying to collect taxes from the locals,” Garowe, October 15, 2019,

[5] “Referencing Recent Attacks on Western ‘Crusaders,’ Shabaab Declares Operations Will Escalate Until Somalia ‘Liberated’,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 15, 2019, English translation available by subscription at; “Al-Qaeda Central Threatens U.S. Over Troop Deployment to Saudi Arabia, Lauds Shabaab For Baledogle Airfield Operation,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 16, 2019, English translation available by subscription at; and Estelle, Emily and Barnett, James, “Africa File – October 1, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 3, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Nov '19
Oct '19
Sep '19