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: Houthis reiterate threats to attack shipping in the Red Sea; UNSC sanctions three top Houthi officials
Somalia: The SNA claims al Shabaab’s spokesperson has died; al Shabaab and anti-al Shabaab forces clash in southern Somalia; The SNA arrests al Shabaab members in Beledweyne, central Somalia; unidentified militants attack Somaliland police, killing one
Yemen Security Brief:
Houthi Political Bureau member Mohammed al Bakhiti said that the Houthis will respond with force to the “prevention of ships from entering Yemen” on October 6.[i] Bakhiti added that the Houthis will strike Saudi and Emirati oil facilities if Houthi demands to reopen Yemen’s ports are not met.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) on September 26 sanctioned the Houthi Naval and Coastal Defense Forces commander for “masterminding lethal attacks against international shipping” and the former Deputy Head of the Houthi National Security Bureau for torture of detainees and “unlawful diversion of humanitarian assistance.”[ii] The UNSC also sanctioned the Houthi Air Force and Air Defense Forces commander on October 4 for “directly threatening the peace, security, and stability of Yemen.”[iii]
Somalia Security Brief:
The Somali National Army (SNA) claimed that al Shabaab spokesperson Ali Dhere died on October 6 of wounds he sustained in the ongoing Hiraan offensive.[iv] Other sources have not corroborated this claim.
Al Shabaab attacked an SNA base near Muryale, Basra district, Middle Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on October 7.[v] The SNA claimed they repelled the attack and killed 19 militants.[vi] Al Shabaab claimed that it cleared Muryale and killed 12 SNA soldiers.[vii] Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency forces and local Ma'awisley militia also attacked al Shabaab militants near Basra, Bal’ad district, Middle Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on October 7. The local militia claimed it killed nine al Shabaab militants.[viii]
The SNA arrested al Shabaab militants and increased security measures in the city of Beledweyne, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on October 6.[ix] The SNA increased security measures after the al Shabaab bombing on October 3 that killed at least 40 people and wounded nearly 100 more. Local authorities insisted that the bombing will not disrupt the ongoing offensive against al Shabaab in central Somalia.[x]
Unidentified militants attacked Somaliland police officers with a hand grenade in Las Anod, Sool region, northwestern Somalia, on October 6. The attack killed one police officer and wounded several others.[xi]
[i] Mareb Press, “Al Houthi threatens to strike oil facilities in Saudi Arabia in the UAE,” October 6, 2022, https://marebpress.net/news_details.php?lang=arabic&sid=187684.
[iv] Halbeeg, “SNA confirms death of al-Shabaab spox, Ali Dhere,” October 6, 2022, https://en.halbeeg.com/2022/10/06/sna-confirms-death-of-al-shabaab-spox-ali-dhere/.
[v] Istar Cabdi Yuusuf, ”The latest news is that the war started with explosions in Basra,” Caasimada, October 7, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/wararkii-ugu-dambeeyey-dagaal-ku-billowday-qaraxyo-oo-ka-socdo-basra/.
[vi] SONNA, ”Somali National Army kills 19 Al-Shabab terrorists in repulsed attack,” October 7, 202, https://sonna.so/en/2022/10/07/somali-national-army-kills-19-al-shabab-terrorists-in-repulsed-attack/.
[vii] Somalimemo, ”Al Shabaab took control of an area on the outskirts of Balcad, killing 12 soldiers,” October 7, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/17062/Al-Shabaab-oo-la-wareegay-deegaan-dhaca-duleedka-Balcad-12-askari-oo-la-dilay.
[viii] Guuleed Muuse, “NISA and Harammad carried out a heavy operation and Al-Shabaab members were killed,” Cassimada, October 7, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/nisa-iyo-haramcad-oo-fuliyey-howl-gal-culus-iyo-xubno-al-shabaab-ah-oo-lagu-dilay/.
[ix] Istar Cabdi Yuusuf, ”Members of Al-Shabaab captured in Beledweyne,” Caasimada, October 6, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/xubno-ka-tirsan-al-shabaab-oo-lagu-qabtay-beledweyne-kadib/.
[x] Mohamed Odowa, ”Somalia pushes on with offensive against al-Shabab despite attack,” Deutsche Welle, October 6, 2022, https://www.dw.com/en/somalia-pushes-on-with-offensive-against-al-shabab-despite-attack/a-63346361?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5253296_.
[xi] Puntland Post, ”An explosion caused death and injury in Lascaanod,” October 6, 2022, https://puntlandpost.net/2022/10/06/qarax-khasaara-dhimasho-iyo-dhaawac-sababay-oo-ka-dhacay-laascaanood/.