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: Aden governor claims capture of individuals run by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Aden; coalition forces prepare for major battle in Ma’rib

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab militants attack AMISOM military base in Janale, Lower Shabelle region; interim Southwest State to deploy forces to Marka, Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Nayef al Bakri, the governor of Aden, claimed that Yemeni security forces arrested an armed group led by members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Aden on September 1, according to the Saudi online newspaper, al Hayat. The 12 militants are accused of planning attacks in Aden and allegedly possessed weapons, communications equipment, and false identity cards. The presence of IRGC officials is only rumored at this point.[1]
  • Pro-government and coalition forces continue to mass in Ma’rib this week, while al Houthi forces and those loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh entrench themselves in the neighboring governorate of al Jawf. Hundreds of Yemeni troops, recently trained in Saudi Arabia, joined the coalition forces in Ma’rib, along with military experts from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The large-scale mobilization also includes military planes and at least six Apache helicopters.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants conducted a complex attack at the Janale military base in Lower Shabelle region, southeast of Mogadishu on September 1. Al Shabaab detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) at the gate of the base manned by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops and then attacked the stationed peacekeeping forces.  An unspecified number of peacekeeping forces were killed and wounded in this attack. The Janale military base remains under AMISOM’s control following the attack, though residents reported soldiers fled the base.[3]
  • Somalia’s interim Southwest State administration announced plans to deploy additional security forces to Marka in Lower Shabelle region. AMISOM recently issued a public statement recognizing civilian deaths in Marka at the hands of AMISOM troops, which has caused tensions between the local residents and the peacekeeping force.[4]
[1] “Newspaper: Aden security arrests an armed group run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” al Masdar, September 1, 2015. [Arabic] Available:
[2] “Yemenis on both sides of civil war gearing up for key battle in central province,” AP, August 30, 2015. Available:
[3] “Somalia attack: Al-Shabab attacks African Union Janale base,” BBC, September 1, 2014. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Southwest State to Deploy Extra Troops to Merca,” Garowe Online, August 31, 2015. Available:
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