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 militants attack security forces in Abyan and Shabwah governorates; Hadi government and allied forces continue offensive in northern Hajjah governorate; southern Yemeni leaders call for demonstrations on October 14 in Aden’s Freedom Square; Hadi government and allied forces clash with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Kahboub district, Lahij governorate
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack sleeping civilians in Mandera town, Mandera County, Kenya; al Shabaab holds senior SNA intelligence official in El Adde village, Gedo region; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED targeting SNA convoy in Qansah Dheere, Bay region; suspected al Shabaab militants assassinate local elder in Bardere town, Gedo region
Yemen Security Brief
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) launched attacks targeting security forces in al Mahfad, Abyan governorate, and Azzan city, Shabwah governorate on October 5. AQAP militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) targeting al Hizam reinforcements in al Mahfad. The Emirati-backed al Hizam security forces support President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government. AQAP militants also launched mortars targeting security forces’ positions in al Mahfad. AQAP militants attacked a Hadi government-allied Southern Resistance checkpoint with small arms fire in Azzan city, wounding at least one soldier, on October 5.
- Hadi government and allied forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Haradh district, northern Hajjah governorate on October 6. Saudi-led coalition Apache helicopters provided air support. Hadi government and allied forces renewed their offensive in Midi district, less than 30 km from Haradh district, on September 30. One of two major roadways from northern Yemen into Sana’a city crosses through Haradh district. Hadi government and allied forces seek to secure this roadway in order to maintain proper supply lines from Saudi Arabia for an impending offensive on Sana’a city.
- Southern Yemeni leaders called on supporters to demonstrate on October 14 in Freedom Square in Aden city in an October 5 announcement. October 14 is the 53rd anniversary of the beginning of the southern Yemeni revolution against the British mandate. Southern political actors plan to form an independent political council to secure representation for southern Yemenis on October 14.
- Al Houthi-Saleh forces attacked Hadi government and allied forces in Kahboub area in Lahij governorate, along the southwest Taiz-Lahij border, on October 6. Al Houthi-Saleh forces control Dhubab district, which is located just north of Kahboub in southwestern Taiz governorate. Al Houthi-Saleh forces exchanged heavy artillery fire with Hadi government and allied forces following the attack. Al Houthi-Saleh forces reportedly planted landmines along major roadways in Dhubab and al Madiribah districts to create a buffer zone between Hadi government and allied forces in Kahboub.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants attacked a village of sleeping Kenyan civilians in Mandera town in Mandera County on October 5. The militants killed six civilians using grenades and small arms fire. Kenyan security forces responded to the attack and drove away the militants.
- Al Shabaab is holding a senior Somali National Army (SNA) intelligence official in El Adde village in Gedo region. Mohamed Aden Ali Barre released a statement saying he decided to defect to al Shabaab. It is unclear if Barre actually defected to the group or if al Shabaab militants are forcibly holding Barre.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a SNA convoy in Qansah Dheere town in Bay region on October 6. The blast killed one SNA soldier. Al Shabaab holds Qansah Dheere as a stronghold in the Gedo region, and beheaded a local elder there on July 25.
- Suspected al Shabaab gunmen assassinated a local elder in Bardhere town in Gedo region on October 5. The militants killed Ibrahim Qorah before fleeing the scene.