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: Saudi-led coalition claims destroying al Houthi drone boat in Red Sea; Hadi governmentaligned forces claim regaining al Houthi–held territory near al Hazm city; Saudi-led coalition reportedly conducts airstrike in Sa’ada governorate

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants shoot and injure Kenyan civilians in Mandera County; SNA claims killing al Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle region; Somali intelligence official reports al Shabaab’s release of kidnapped Cuban doctors

Yemen Security Brief:

The Saudi-led coalition claimed destroying an al Houthi remote-controlled improvised explosive device boat, known as a drone boat, offshore from al Hudaydah governorate’s Port Salif in the southern Red Sea on October 5. Coalition forces last reported intercepting an al Houthi drone boat on the Red Sea in late August.[1]

Forces aligned with the internationally recognized Yemeni government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed regaining al Houthi–held territory near al Hazm city, the capital of northern Yemen’s al Jawf governorate, on October 7. Al Houthi militants seized al Hazm city in March.[2]

Al Houthi–aligned media reported that the Saudi-led coalition conducted an airstrike in Manabah district in northern Yemen’s Sa’ada governorate on October 7. The airstrike allegedly caused five civilian casualties. Saudi-led coalition forces reportedly launched an airstrike targeting al Houthi militants in Sa’ada governorate in late September.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief:

Suspected al Shabaab militants opened fire on a commuter bus in Kutulo area of northeastern Kenya’s Mandera County along the Kenyan-Somali border on October 6. The attack injured at least four people. Kenyan Defense Forces claimed killing five al Shabaab militants in Mandera County in late September. [4]  

The Somali National Army (SNA) claimed killing at least ten al Shabaab militants, including two senior militant officials near Barire town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on October 6. The SNA previously claimed killing al Shabaab militants in Barire town in late September.[5]

A Somali intelligence official claimed that al Shabaab released two Cuban doctors in early October that the group kidnapped a year and a half ago in Mandera County. An official from Cuba’s foreign ministry denied that al Shabaab has released the doctors.[6]


[1] “Saudi-Led Coalition foils attack by Yemen’s Houthis in the south of the Red Sea – Al-Arabiya TV,” Reuters, October 5, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/yemen-security-redsea-int/saudi-led-coalition-foils-attack-by-yemens-houthis-in-the-south-of-the-red-sea-al-arabiya-tv-idUSKBN26Q2T8; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 31, 2020,” Critical Threats Project and the American Enterprise Institute, August 31, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-august-31-2020.

[2] “Urgent Development in al Jawf…The Legitimate Forces are approaching al Hazm, advancing toward al Labinat camp and liberating four new strategic areas,” Mareb Press, October 7, 2020, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=167806; and Rahma Bayrakdar and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 9, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-9-2020.

[3] “Five Citizens were killed and wounded in the Saudi bombing of Sa’ada,” 26 Sep Net, October 7, 2020, https://26sep.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=183203; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 25, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 25, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-25-2020.

[4] “Four Injured in Commuter Bus Attack Along Kenya Somalia Border,” CGTN, October 6, 2020, https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/10/06/four-injured-in-commuter-bus-attack-along-kenya-somalia-border/; “Somali, Kenyan troops exchange gunfire in border firefight,” Hiiraan, September 27, 2020, http://www.hiiraan.com/news4/2020/Sept/180094/somali_kenyan_troops_exchange_gunfire_in_border_firefigh.aspx; “Large rally against Kenyan army brutality held in Somalia,” Mareeg, September 26, 2020, https://mareeg.com/large-rally-against-kenyan-army-brutality-held-in-somalia/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 25, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 25, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-25-2020.

[5] “Somali National Army Carries Out Operations in Lower Shabelle,” Horseed Media, October 6, 2020, https://horseedmedia.net/2020/10/06/343078/; “10 Al-Shabaab Militants Killed in Southern Somalia,” Xinhuanet, October 6, 2020, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-10/06/c_139422517.htm; “Somali Military Kills Ten Al-Shabaab Fighters Including Senior Commander in Lower Shabelle Region,” Radio Dalsan, October 6, 2020,   https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/2020/10/06/somali-military-kills-ten-al-shabab-fighters-including-senior-commander-in-lower-shabelle-region/; and Jessica Kocan, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 25, 2020,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 25, 2020, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-28-2020.  

[6] Abdi Gulad, “Extremists Release 2 Cuban Doctors in Somalia, Officials Say,” Associate Press, October 7, 2020, https://apnews.com/article/kenya-archive-somalia-bb907e8c7bef0666f7d0788d7d993623.

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