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: AQAP fighters target Shabwani Defense Forces in Shabwah governorate; oil production in Shabwah stops after Houthi attacks; Omani Foreign Minister meets with Yemeni minister over Houthi attacks; Yemeni president meets with the ROYG Security and Military Committee
Somalia: Turkish drone strike kills al Shabaab militants in south-central Somalia; SNA and US military officials meet to discuss counterterrorism strategy; SNA forces arrest a senior al Shabaab militant in south-central Somalia; al Shabaab claims to attack SNA and police forces in Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief:
Possible al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters targeted the UAE-backed Shabwani Defense Forces (SDF) with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in two separate attacks in al Saeed district, Shabwah governorate, southern Yemen. The first AQAP IED targeted a supply vehicle in the al Masana’a area. The second targeted an SDF military vehicle near al Jaab station.[i]
Exports from al Nashima oil facility, Shabwah governorate, stopped after a Houthi drone attack on al Nashima on October 19.[ii] The pause in exports caused a stop in oil production at Jannah Hunt oil field on October 27 after fuel storage at al Nashima reached capacity.[iii]
The Yemeni foreign minister discussed the Houthi attacks on ports and oil facilities with the Omani foreign minister on October 27.[iv] The Yemeni foreign minister said that the Houthi attacks were a “dangerous escalation.” Oman reiterated its support for the Yemeni government.
Yemeni President Rashad al Alimi met with the Yemeni government’s Security and Military Committee Chairman Maj. Gen. Haitham Qassem Taher on October 27.[v] Alimi emphasized the importance of official visits to frontline units. Alimi also emphasized the importance of unifying Yemen’s armed forces under a supreme national command.[vi]
Somalia Security Brief:
A Turkish airstrike coordinated with the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) targeted al Shabaab militants near Hawadley, Bal’ad district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on October 26.[vii] NISA claimed that the air strike killed 17 militants.[viii] The Somali National Army (SNA) had previously claimed to have cleared Hawadley on October 15.
The SNA head and United States military officials met to discuss further military cooperation and counterterrorism strategy on October 27.[ix] The New York Times reported that the Somali Federal Government asked the United States to name Somalia an active war zone to enable US Africa Command to increase the frequency of drone strikes in support of operations against al Shabaab.[x]
SNA forces arrested a senior al Shabaab militant responsible for zakat collection near War-Isse, Jowhar district, Middle Shabelle region, south-central Somalia, on October 27.[xi]
Al Shabaab claimed to attack SNA and police forces in Mogadishu on October 27. Al Shabaab said the attacks killed four SNA and police members.[xii]
[i] Mareb Press, “Two explosions in Shabwa governorate, which is under the control of militias,” October 27, 2022, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=188140.
[ii] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, October 21, 2022, https://twitter.com/Alsakaniali/status/1583534878251159552?s=20&t=gWK06RxOdqp6ptl8wJbhaQ.
[iii] Mareb Press, Twitter, October 27, 2022, https://twitter.com/marebpress/status/1585669303575216129.
[v] Mareb Press, Twitter, October 27, 2022, https://twitter.com/marebpress/status/1585663779257585665.
[vii] Shabelle Media Network, @ShabelleMedia, Twitter, October 27, 2022, https://twitter.com/ShabelleMedia/status/1585685764058120193.
[viii] SONNA, ”17 of the Khawarij Al-Shabaab were killed last night in a planned operation,” October 26, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/2022/10/26/17-of-the-khawarij-al-shabaab-were-killed-last-night-in-a-planned-operation/.
[ix] Halbeeg, ”Somalia, US agrees military cooperation amid operations against al-Shabaab,” October 27, 2022, https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/10/27/somalia-us-agree-military-cooperation-amids-operations-against-al-shabaab/.
[x] Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Abdi Latif Dahir, ”Somalia Asks U.S. to Step Up Drone Strikes Against Qaeda-Linked Fighters,” The New York Times, October 27, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/27/us/politics/somalia-shabab-us-strikes.html.
[xi] SONNA, “Troops nabs extortion network ringleader for al-Shabab terrorists,” October 27, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/2022/10/27/troops-nabs-extortion-network-ringleader-for-al-shabab-terrorists/.
[xii] Somalimemo, ”4 soldiers and government officials who were killed in Mogadishu and its suburbs,” October 27, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/17157/4-katirsan-askarta-iyo-saraakiisha-dowladda-oo-lagu-dilay-Muqdisho-iyo-duleedkeeda.