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: Forces loyal to President Hadi move toward Taiz and Mokha; coalition airstrike cuts off al Hudaydah – Sana’a road; airstrike kills two AQAP militants in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab seizes Amaar village in Mudug region; AMISOM forces clear al Shabaab’s blockade around Bulo-Burde, Hiraan region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni forces back by the Saudi-led coalition reportedly began mobilizations toward Taiz and Mokha on October 1. The al Houthi-held cities are expected to be the sites of critical battles for the control of Taiz governorate in central Yemen. This mobilization comes one day after Yemeni forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reclaimed the Bab al Mandeb strait and Mayun Island from al Houthi control. Saudi-led coalition forces provided ground and air support in the Bab al Mandeb region and Egyptian forces reportedly participated in a landing operation on Mayun Island.[1]
  • Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition destroyed a bridge on the road between al Hudaydah and Sana’a on October 1. The strike effectively severed al Houthi supply lines between the Red Sea port and Yemen’s capital city.[2]
  • A reported U.S. airstrike killed two members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and two other people traveling by car in Ma’rib governorate on September 30. One of the AQAP militants was a leader named Jamil al Obeidi.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants took control of Amaar village, located in Mudug region. There are no reports of casualties for the event, which occurred on October 1. This event is significant as it occurred in a region in which al Shabaab is not known to maintain a large presence.[5] 
  • AMISOM officials stated that their forces successfully cleared al Shabaab’s presence in the surrounding areas near Bulo-Burde town, located in the Hiraan region. The blockade removal operations, which concluded on September 30, once again opened up the settlement to humanitarian aid. Casualty numbers for the operation are unavailable at this time.[6]

[1] Mohammed Albasha, Twitter, October 1, 2015. Sources available upon request.
“Egyptian forces conduct landing operation on Mayun Island, Yemen,” Barakish, October 1, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[2] Noah Browning, “UPDATE 4- Yemeni government, Saudi-led forces retake Red Sea strait,” Reuters, October 2, 2015. Available:
[3] “American airstrike kills two al Qaeda members including a leader in Ma'rib,” Khabar Agency, September 30, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab takes control of Amaara locality,” Goobjoog News, October 2, 2015. Available:
[6] “After militants blockade, first civilian plane lands in Buloburte town,” Hiiraan Online, October 2. 2015. Available:
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