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: Clashes break out in multiple Aden districts; unidentified militant conducts VBIED attack in Hadramawt

Horn of Africa: Suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED in Bay region; Ethiopian official claims foreign Islamic State fighters arrested in Ethiopia; SFG Prime Minister urges SNA to liberate al Shabaab-held areas in Bakool region; Kenyan President vows to continue AMISOM mission

Yemen Security Brief

Clashes between unidentified gunmen broke out in several districts in Aden, the de facto capital of Yemen, on September 12. The clashes began outside a security headquarters in Khormaksar district and spread to al Araysh and Dar Saad districts. Forces aligned with the Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a southern Yemeni secessionist group, seized effective control of Aden in early August and have since clashed with forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government.[1]

An unidentified militant detonated a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) outside the district headquarters in Shibam district in Hadramawt governorate in southeastern Yemen on September 12. The attack injured several people and destroyed multiple vehicles.[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an IED near a police station in Dinsor town in Bay region in southern Somalia on September 11. The explosion killed five people, including two children.[3]

An Ethiopian army official, Colonel Tesfaye Ayalew, gave further details on September 11 of Ethiopia’s recent arrest of Islamic State militants in the country. Ayalew said that the arrests took place in towns near the Kenyan and Somali borders and that the majority of Islamic State militants arrested were Syrians and Yemenis, although Ethiopians were arrested as well. The colonel attributed the arrests to Ethiopia’s strong relationship with the Somali Federal Government (SFG).[4]

SFG Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire visited Somali National Army (SNA) troops in Hudur town, the capital of Bakool region in southwestern Somalia, on September 12. Khaire urged SNA forces to liberate areas still under al Shabaab control in the region.[5]

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta stated on September 11 that Kenya would not withdraw its forces from Somalia until al Shabaab is defeated. Kenyan forces operate in southern Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[6]

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[1] “Explosions in Hadramout..and armed clashes in Aden,” 26 September, September 12, 2019,; “A security facility experiences mortar fire while militants move on Dar Saad causing chaos in Aden,” Hadramout, September 12, 2019,; “Explosions and sounds of armed clashes,” Al Bawaba, September 12, 2019,; and “Clashes and a second explosion in Dar Saad,” Aden Ghad, September 12, 2019,

[2] “Explosions in Hadramout..and armed clashes in Aden,” 26 September, September 12, 2019,; “Breaking/See pictures and details of the explosion in Shibam, Hadramawt and injured nationals and burning of al Hadharam battalions,” Yemen Akhbar, September 12, 2019, Yemen Akhbar,; and “The first military district explains the targeting of forces in Shibam with an explosive motorcycle IED,” Aden al Hadath, September 12, 2019,

[3] “5 killed in landmine blast in Somalia,” Anadolu Agency, September 12, 2019,

[4] Ameyu Etana, “IS ‘militants’ arrested in Ethiopia,” BBC, September 11, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 11, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, September 11, 2019,

[5] “Somali PM urges soldiers to continue war on Al Shabaab,” Mareeg, September 12, 2019,

[6] “KDF will not withdraw from Somalia until Al-Shabaab surrenders,” Goobjoog, September 12, 2019,

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