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: Emirati official states seizing al Hudaydah is necessary to compel al Houthi movement to negotiate; al Houthi forces fire ballistic missiles into southern Saudi Arabia; Saudi Apache helicopter crashes in al Mahrah governorate, eastern Yemen

Horn of Africa: Supporters of former rebel groups clash in Addis Ababa; al Shabaab militants kill two bus passengers in Garissa County, eastern Kenya; possible al Shabaab militants kill two men at mosques in Kwale County, southeastern Kenya

Yemen Security Brief

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the al Houthi movement’s failure to attend the September 6 UN Geneva talks demonstrates that the Saudi-led coalition must seize al Hudaydah port to advance the peace process on September 12. Gargash emphasized that the coalition must change the situation on the ground in order to compel the al Houthi movement to negotiate. The UN human rights coordinator for Yemen warned on September 13 that an offensive on al Hudaydah port will place hundreds of thousands of Yemenis at extreme risk.[1]

Al Houthi forces fired a Badr 1 ballistic missile at Najran city on September 13 and at an oil refinery in Jizan region on September 14. Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted both missiles, according to the Saudi-led coalition spokesperson. The Saudi military reported that al Houthi forces have fired 191 missiles at Saudi Arabia over the course of the war. [2]

A Saudi Apache helicopter crashed in al Mahrah governorate, eastern Yemen on September 14. Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al Maliki announced that the helicopter crashed as a result of a technical failure. Two Saudi pilots died in the crash. [3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Supporters of two former rebel groups clashed with each other and with federal police in Addis Ababa on September 13. The clashes began when Oromo youth activists, called Qeerroo, painted colors of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) flag in various parts of Addis Ababa in anticipation of the return of the OLF’s leaders to Addis Ababa. Supporters of the Ginbot 7 rebel group took to the streets in response and began clashing with the Qeerroo and police. No casualties have been reported. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed removed the OLF and Ginbot 7 from the state’s list of designated terrorist organizations earlier this summer. The OLF is expected to return to Ethiopia on September 15.[4]

Al Shabaab militants killed two passengers on a bus in Handaro village, Garissa County, eastern Kenya on September 14. The militants stopped the bus and demanded that non-Somali passengers recite a verse from the Quran. Militants killed the two passengers who failed to recite the verse.[5]

Gunmen killed two men at mosques in two consecutive attacks in villages in Ukunda, Kwale County, southeastern Kenya on September 12. Locals stated Kenyan al Shabaab fighters were responsible. The attacks occurred at Masjid Muslimani mosque in Kibundani village and at a mosque in neighboring Shamu village.[6]

[1] “Anwar Gargash hails gains against Yemen’s al Houthi rebels in al Hudaydah,” The National, September 14, 2018,
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[2] “Saudi forces intercept al Houthi ballistic missile targeting Najran, Al Arabiya, September 13, 2018,; “Al Houthi forces claim to fire a ballistic missile at Najran,” Arabi21, September 14, 2018,; “Yemen’s al Houthis say launch missile at Aramco refinery in Jizan,” Reuters, September 14, 2018,; “Saudi Arabia intercept al Houthi ballistic missile in Jizan,” Saudi Press Agency, September 14, 2018,; and “Rocket forces target Aramco oil refinery in Jizan, al Masirah, September 14, 2018,  

[3] “Two Saudi pilots killed in helicopter crash: state media,” Reuters, September 14, 2018,;and “Arab coalition pilot and assistant killed in helicopter crash in Yemen, Arab News, September 14, 2018,; and “Saudi pilot and assistant killed in helicopter crash,” Saudi press Agency, September 14, 2018,

[4] “Violence in Ethiopian capital ahead of opposition group’s return,” news 24, September 14 2018,

[5] “Al Shabaab terrorists kill two in ambush in Garissa,” Standard Digital, September 14, 2018,

[6] Bernard Sanga, “Fear grips villages as two are shot dead after prayers,” Standard Digital, September 14 2018,

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