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: U.S. Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State call for ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days; al Houthi movement unveils new Badr 1P missile; AQAP releases video on alleged Saudi spies; Emirati-backed forces kill 150 al Houthi troops in al Hudaydah governorate, western Yemen; Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan welcomes Pakistani PM’s offer to mediate Yemen conflict; Sweden offers to host Yemen talks

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack SNA and AMISOM outposts in Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia; AMISOM-backed SNA forces seize control of Daynunay town, Bay region, southern Somalia; hundreds of Ethiopian troops cross border into Galgudud region, central Somalia; Somali Federal Government and World Bank sign $80 million investment agreement

Yemen Security Brief

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to agree to a ceasefire within 30 days on October 30. Pompeo also called on all parties to support UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. A member of the al Houthi movement’s political council, Mohammad al Bekhiti, rejected Pompeo’s appeal and insisted that peace would only be restored if the U.S. ended its war in Yemen.[1]

Al Houthi Armed Forces official spokesperson Yehya Sarii unveiled a guided version of its Badr 1 ballistic missile on October 27. The new Badr 1P developed has a range of 150 Km and an accuracy of three meters, according to al Houthi media. The al Houthi forces showed footage of what they claimed was a Badr 1P strike against a Sudanese camp on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.[2]

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video on October 30 as a follow up to its September 2018 video, “Demolishing of the Espionage.” The new video contains extended interviews with the seven alleged Saudi spies within AQAP. The video details how the alleged spies spread discord within AQAP.[3]

Emirati-backed Yemeni forces supported by Saudi-led coalition aircraft targeted an al Houthi military training camp and killed at least 150 al Houthi fighters in al Murawi’ah district in northwestern al Hudaydah governorate, western Yemen on October 30, according to Saudi media.[4]

Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoust welcomed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to mediate between the al Houthi movement and the Saudi-led coalition on October 29.[5]

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom offered to host talks between President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government and the al Houthi movement on October 31. [6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) outposts in several villages in Qoryoley district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on October 31.[7]

SNA troops backed by AMISOM forces seized control of Daynunay town near Baidoa, Bay region, southern Somalia on October 31. Al Shabaab captured Daynunay on June 7. SNA and Ethiopian AMISOM troops established a base in Daynunay after seizing the town, according to SNA and AMISOM officials.[8]

Hundreds of heavily armed Ethiopian troops entered central Somalia in Guriel town, Galgudud region, central Somalia on October 30. It is not known if the troops are part of AMISOM or independent reinforcements for Ethiopian operations in central Somalia.[9]

The Somali Federal Government signed an agreement with the World Bank for two investment programs amounting to 80 million U.S. dollars on October 31. The World Bank announced the agreement, its first grant to Somalia in 30 years, in September.[10]


[1] “Ending the conflict in Yemen,” U.S. Department of State, October 30, 2018,; “Mattis, Pompeo call for Yemen ceasefire within 30 days,” CNN, October 30, 2018,; and “Ansarallah reject U.S. peace statement on Yemen,” Al Alam, October 31, 2018,

[2] “Al Houthi forces unveil smart ballistic missile Badr 1P,” Al Masirah, October 27, 2018,; and “Pictures and videos of the Badr 1P ballistic missile targeting coalition forces,” Al Masirah, October 28, 2018,

[3] “AQAP video uses confessions of alleged Saudi intelligence spies to examine espionage industry,” SITE Intelligence Group, October 30, 2018, English translation available by subscription at

[4] “150 al Houthi forces killed in al Hudaydah in airstrikes,” Sky News Arabia, October 30, 2018,

[5] “Iran welcomes Pakistan’s mediation in Saudi-Yemen conflict,” Pakistan Today, October 29, 2018,

[6] “Sweden says it could host Yemen’s warring sides for talks,” ABC News, October 31, 2018,

[7] “Somali, AU troops clash with Al-Shabaab fighters near Qoryoley,” Radio Shabelle, October 31, 2018,

[8] “SNA-AMISOM forces seize Daynuunaye town, Bay region,” Goobjoog, October 31, 2018,; “SNA and Ethiopian Troops Seize Daynuunaye Town From Al Shabaab,” Strategic Intelligence, October 31, 2018,; and “Al Shabaab seizes strategic town near Baidoa,” Garowe, June 7, 2018,

[9] “Hundreds of Ethiopia troops enter into Somalia to hunt al-Shabab,” Mareeg, October 30, 2018,

[10] “World Bank Group’s First Strategy for Somalia to Support Inclusive Growth and Resilience,” The World Bank, September 25, 2018,; Harun Maruf, Twitter, October 31, 2018,; and “World Bank approves first grants to Somalia in 30 years,” Reuters, September 26, 2018,

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