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: Houthi chief negotiator meets with Lebanese Hezbollah leader; AQAP transfers kidnapped UN workers out of Abyan; STC-backed forces disrupt possible AQAP logistics
Somalia: US-trained Danab forces attack al Shabaab stronghold in central Somalia; al Shabaab overruns SNA base in southwestern Somalia; Danab destroy al Shabaab bomb-making warehouses in southern Somalia; al Shabaab IED targets Turkish-trained commando convoy in southern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
Houthi spokesperson and chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam met with Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on September 16 in Beirut, Lebanon.[i] The two parties discussed the truce and regional “political developments.” Abdulsalam met with Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayti in Tehran, Iran, on September 7.[ii]
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) reportedly moved five kidnapped UN workers out of Abyan governorate on September 16.[iii] AQAP kidnapped the UN workers in Abyan governorate in February 2022. AQAP moved the workers after negotiations failed.
The al Hizam Security Forces stopped a possible AQAP vehicle transporting explosive devices in northwestern Abyan governorate on September 15.[iv] The car was traveling from al Bayda governorate.
Somalia Security Brief:
US-trained Danab special forces attacked al Shabaab militants near Buqda village, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on the night of September 14.[v] Somali government officials claimed Danab troops killed 18 al Shabaab fighters and destroyed al Shabaab bases, stations, and offices. Al Shabaab claimed to kill at least 10 Danab troops and injure another 15 soldiers.[vi] Al Shabaab had uncontested control of the village since at least 2015 and organized drought relief, religious celebrations, and public executions in the village throughout 2022.[vii]
Al Shabaab overran a Somali National Army camp near Daynunay, Baidoa district, Bay region, southwestern Somalia, on September 14.[viii] Al Shabaab attacked the camp from multiple sides and forced the defenders to eventually retreat after heavy fighting. Al Shabaab claimed to kill a senior SNA commander in the attack.[ix] The regional army commander claimed the al Shabaab fighters involved in the attack had likely fled from ongoing counterterrorism operations in Lower Shabelle and Hiraan.
Danab special forces destroyed al Shabaab bomb-making warehouses in Tihsile and Garas Gawan villages in the Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on September 15.[x]
Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device targeting a Turkish-trained Gorgor commando convoy near Lambar Konton, Marka district, Lower Shabelle, southern Somalia, on September 14.[xi] Locals claimed that at least one soldier died while several others were seriously injured. The troops were reportedly traveling to the Janaale area.
[i] Al Mayadeen, “Hezbollah Secretary-General meets with Ansar Allah spokesperson,” September 16, 2022, https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/hezbollah-secretary-general-meets-with-ansar-allah-spokesper.
[ii] South24 English, Twitter, September 8, 2022, https://twitter.com/South24E/status/1567823639352905728?s=20&t=qv9HKHWufcEkTeHK1JQKyg.
[iii] Al Mashhad al Yemeni, “The transfer of 5 kidnapped nationals by al Qaeda outside Abyan governorate after the failure of mediation,” September 15, 2022, https://www.almashhad-alyemeni.com/239686; Mahra Post, “Agency: al Qaeda transferred five kidnapped internationals outside Abyan,” September 16, 2022, https://almahrahpost.com/news/33324.
[v] SONNA, “DANAB forces kills 18 Al-Shabab militants in Hiran region (Press Statement),” September 15, 2022, https://sonna.so/en/2022/09/15/danab-forces-kills-18-al-shabab-militants-in-hiran-region-press-statement/.
[vi] Radio al Furqaan, “About 30 soldiers from the Danab army were killed and injured in the fighting in Hiraan,” September 15, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/09/ku-dhawaad-30-askari-oo-ka-tirsan-ciidanka-danab-oo-dhimasho-iyo-dhaawac-ku-noqday-dagaal-ka-dhacay-hiiraan/.
[vii] Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar, “Al Shabaab militants retake Somali town from African Union,” Reuters, September 6, 2015, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-somalia-attack/al-shabaab-militants-retake-somali-town-from-african-union-idUSKCN0R60MB20150906; Radio al Furqaan, “Al Ihsaan Foundation distributes food to Buq-aqable,” March 19, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/03/sawirro-heyadda-al-ixsaan-oo-raashin-ka-qeybisay-buq-aqable/; Somalimemo, “Buqaqable district celebrates Eid,” July 11, 2022, https://somalimemo.info/articles/16691/Degmada-Buq-Aqable-oo-si-heer-sare-ah-looga-ciiday-Sawirro; SITE Intelligence Group, “Shabaab Claims over 35 Troops Killed in 4 Attacks in Kenya, Documents War Spoils Captured During Major Op in Mogadishu,” February 18, 2022, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com.
[viii] Asad Cabdullahi Mataan, “NISA announced the whereabouts of Al-Shabaab fleeing Basra and Hiran,” Caasimada, September 16, 2022, https://www.caasimada.net/nisa-oo-shaacisay-halka-ay-tageen-al-shabaabkii-ka-cararay-basra-iyo-hiiraan/.
[ix] @SomaliGuardian, Twitter, September 14, 2022, https://twitter.com/SomaliGuardian/status/1570118853006618625?s=20&t=HQvzhja2nVLuf8xXcVApQg.
[x] Goobjoog, “SNA kills 18 Al-Shabaab terrorists in Hiran region,” September 15, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/sna-kills-18-al-shabaab-terrorists-in-hiran-region/.
[xi] Radio Risaala, “An explosion killed government forces soldiers in Lower Shabelle,” September 14, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/qarax-lagu-dilay-askar-katirsan-ciidamada-dowladda-oo-ka-dhacay-shabeellaha-hoose/.