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: Houthi media frames Houthi attacks as defensive “warnings”; the Yemeni and Saudi foreign ministers discuss Houthi drone attacks in southern Yemen; the STC calls for “unilateral termination” of all agreements with the Houthis; the EU sanctions a top Houthi military leader

Somalia: AFRICOM drone strike kills al Shabaab militants in central Somalia; SNA and local militia forces clear a key town in north-central Somalia; Kenya Defense Forces conduct counterterrorism operations along the Somalia-Kenya border after recent al Shabaab attacks

Yemen Security Brief:

Houthi media outlet Ansarallah continued to frame the October 21 al Dabba oil facility attack as a “warning” and contrasted the attack with Saudi-led coalition “aggression” in an article on October 26.[i] The article emphasized that the Houthi’s October 21 attack directly warned the ship’s crew and did not aim to damage infrastructure or kill or injure the ship’s crewmembers.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan discussed the Houthi attack on oil facilities in government-controlled areas in a phone call on October 25.[ii] Farhan again condemned the attack and called it a “dangerous escalation.”

The Southern Transitional Council said the Houthi drone attacks on al Dabba and al Nashima oil facilities “mean the unilateral termination” of all agreements with the Houthis on October 25.[iii] The STC said that the attack required the “cancellation” of the Stockholm Agreement and the UN-brokered truce. The STC also called for the Presidential Leadership Council to redeploy the Islah-backed 1st Military Region from Wadi Hadramawt to the frontlines to fight the Houthis.

The European Union added Houthi Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Ahmed al Hamzi to its sanctions list on October 24.[iv] The EU sanctioned Hamzi for his “leading role in Houthi military efforts that directly threaten” peace and security in Yemen.

Somalia Security Brief:

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike on al Shabaab militants attacking SNA forces near Burlo Burde, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on October 23. AFRICOM claimed that the airstrike killed two militants and no civilians.[v]

Somali National Army (SNA) and local militia forces cleared the town of Qayib, Dhusamareb district, Galgadud region, north-central Somalia, on October 25. The SNA claimed it killed dozens of al Shabaab militants and destroyed an al Shabaab court.[vi]

Kenya Defense Forces conducted counterterrorism operations along the Somalia-Kenya border near Mandera county, northern Kenya, on October 25.[vii] The operations followed several al Shabaab attacks in Mandera county earlier in October that damaged electrical infrastructure and a police station.[viii]

[i] Ansar Allah, “Operation al Dabba reveals the differences between the beginning and the end of the war,” October 26, 2022,

[ii] 4May, “Saudi Arabia: The Houthi escalation undermines peace efforts and threatens the security of the region,” October 26, 2022,

[iii] STC, “The Presidency stresses the speedy cancellation of all facilities resulting from the Stockholm Agreement and the UN Armistice,” October 25, 2022,

[iv] Official Journal of the European Union, “Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/2034,” October 24, 2022,

[v] AFRICOM, “Federal Government of Somalia engages terrorists with support from U.S. forces,” October 25, 2022,

[vi] Halbeeg, ”SNA forces recapture small town in central Somalia,” October 25, 2022,

[vii] Halbeeg, ”Kenyan police hunt al-Shabaab after raid in Mandera,” October 25, 2022,

[viii] Brian Carter and David Hessen, ”Gulf of Aden Security Review - October 12, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, October 12, 2022,

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