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–aligned forces clash with al Houthis in Dhaleh governorate; al Houthi militants reportedly attack Hadi government–aligned forces and tribesmen in Ma’rib governorate; Saudi-led coalition reportedly targets al Houthi positions with airstrikes in Ma’rib governorate
Horn of Africa: IS claims ISCA conducted large-scale prison raid in DRC; al Shabaab militants allegedly raid police post in Mandera County; al Shabaab claims attack on Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu; SNA forces claim attacking al Shabaab base in Lower Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief:
Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi reportedly repelled a large-scale al Houthi attack in the Hajjar area of central Yemen’s Dhaleh governorate on October 20. Hadi government–aligned forces also claimed attacking al Houthi forces in the al Fakher area of Dhaleh governorate on October 20.[i]
Al Houthi militants reportedly attacked Hadi government–aligned forces and members of the Murad tribe in the Haid al Ahmed area of northern Yemen’s Ma’rib governorate on October 20. The Murad tribe clashed with al Houthi militants throughout September.[ii]
The Saudi-led coalition conducted several airstrikes targeting al Houthi–held territory in Ma’rib governorate’s Rahabah and Majzar districts on October 19 and 20, respectively. The Saudi–led coalition previously launched airstrikes targeting al Houthi militants in Ma’rib governorate on October 17.[iii]
Horn of Africa Security Brief:
The Islamic State (IS) claimed that the Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCA) conducted a large-scale prison raid in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on October 20. The UN confirmed that the raid caused 1,300 prisoners to escape but did not name a perpetrator. This raid comes two days after an IS spokesman urged militants to free IS militants held in prisons.[iv]
Al Shabaab militants allegedly raided a police post in Mandera County in eastern Kenya on October 20. Al Shabaab militants attacked a commuter bus in Mandera County in early October.[v]
Al Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for grenade attacks against Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, on October 21. A local news source claimed the attack killed six soldiers. Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device targeting a Somali government official in Mogadishu the same day. The official reportedly survived the attack. A suspected al Shabaab suicide vest attack targeted Somali policemen in Mogadishu in early October.[vi]
Senior Somali National Army (SNA) officials reportedly seized an al Shabaab base in Wanlaweyn district in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on October 20. SNA forces reported killing at least eighteen al Shabaab militants on the outskirts of Barire town in Lower Shabelle region on October 19.[vii]
[i] “Al Dhaleh: Al Houthi militia suffers losses due to a failed attack toward the Hajjar Bad al Ghalaq Sector,” 7adramout, October 21, 2020, https://www.7adramout.net/yafa-news/7513160/%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%AB%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%AA%D9%83%D8%A8%D8%AF-%D8%AE%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%B1-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D8%AB%D8%B1-%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B4%D9%84-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D9%87%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%82-%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9.html; “Renewed confrontations between the National Army and the al Houthi militia in al Dhaleh governorate,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, October 21, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/182583.
[ii] “Ma’rib: al Houthi groups launched a massive attack in the Haid al Ahmed front, located between the Jabal Murad and Rahba Wakala districts,” Khabar Agency, October 21, 2020, https://www.khabaragency.net/news134354.html; and Maged al Madhaji, “Marib’s Tribes hold the Line Against the Houthi Assault,” Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, October 5, 2020, https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/11617.
[iii] “The coalition carried out a painful blow to the Houthi militia in Ma’rib a short while ago,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, October 21, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/182542; “16 airstrikes on Ma’rib governorate,” Al Mashhad al Yemeni, October 20, 2020, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/182424; and Sarah Gordon and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review - October 19, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 19, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-19-2020.
[iv] “DR Congo Jail Break: ‘Islamist ADF rebels’ free 1,300 inmates,” BBC, October 20, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54613089; “1,300 Prisoners Escape From Congo Jail After an Attack Claimed by ISIS,” New York Times, October 20, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54613089; “IS Claims Raid at Kangbayi Prison in DR Congo,” SITE, October 20, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; and “IS Spokesman Rallies Fighters Across Every Region, Calls on Lone Wolves to Strike Western Nationals in KSA,” SITE, October 20, 2020, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[v] “Kenyan Soldiers Injured in Clash with Al-Shabaab in Mandera County,” Hiiraan, October 20, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Oct/180374/kenyan_soldiers_injured_in_clash_with_al_shabaab_in_mandera_county.aspx; and Hannah Kuperman and Sarah Gordon, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 7, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 7, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-7-2020.
[vi] “Attack Kills 6 Ethiopian Soldiers in Bay Region,” Somalimemo, October 21, 2020, https://somalimemo.net/articles/13813/Weerar-6-Askari-Itoobiyaan-ah-lagu-dilay-oo-ka-dhacay-gobolka-Baay; “Somalia’s Immigration Boss Survives Bomb Attack,” Hiiraan, October 21, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Oct/180389/somalia_a_immigration_boss_survives_bomb_attack.aspx; and Jessica Kocan and Rahma Bayrakdar, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 2, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 2, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-2-2020.
[vii] “Somali Army Invades Militants’ Hideouts, Razes Camps,” Garowe, October 21, 2020, https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-army-invades-militants-hideouts-razes-camps; “18 Militants Killed in Southern Somalia,” Hiiraan, October 21, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Oct/180384/18_militants_killed_in_southern_somalia.aspx; and Sarah Gordon and Hannah Kuperman, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – October 16, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 16, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-october-16-2020.