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.
The Gulf of Aden Security Review will resume on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. It will not publish on Monday, September 5, due to the Labor Day holiday.
Yemen: AQAP condemns UAE and Saudi Arabia in statement about clashes in southern Yemen; Houthis announce flights to Djibouti City; Houthis may meet with other warring parties; Houthis unveil new anti-ship missile
Somalia: Al Shabaab claims to inflict several casualties in attack on an SNA base in southern Somalia; al Shabaab raids several villages in central Somalia; al Shabaab mortars Ethiopian Somali Region forces near the Ethiopian border in southwestern Somalia
Yemen Security Brief:
A previously unknown al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula commander appealed to southerners and Islah in a 27-minute video condemning the UAE and Saudi Arabia on August 27.[i] The commander said that the UAE engineered clashes between UAE-backed forces and Islah in Shabwah to divide Yemen. He also called on Islah to return to Islam and cast away “partisanship.” He also said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are occupying southern Yemen. The commander then called on southerners to sacrifice in the “war of Islam and its people.”
The Houthi General Aviation Authority announced the opening of flights between Sana’a Airport and Djibouti City on August 31.[ii]
Iran’s Arabic language media arm claimed a “decisive” meeting will take place between the Houthis and unspecified other parties to discuss salaries and fuel entering Hudaydah port on September 2.[iii]
Houthi President Mahdi al Mashaat revealed a new anti-ship missile at a parade in the Houthi 5th Military District on September 1.[iv] He claimed the missile can be fired from anywhere within Yemen.
Somalia Security Brief:
Al Shabaab attacked a Somali National Army (SNA) base at Warmahan, Afgoi district, Lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on August 31.[v] Al Shabaab claimed to kill six soldiers and kidnap another.[vi] Somali officials said they repelled the attack and inflicted casualties.
Al Shabaab raided several villages in eastern Dhusamareb district, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on September 1.[vii] Al Shabaab militants destroyed water wells, local barracks, and communications infrastructure in the villages. There are no reported casualties. The villages are roughly 25 miles from Bahdo town, where state and local forces repelled a large al Shabaab suicide raid in June.[viii]
Al Shabaab mortared an Ethiopian Somali Region Liyu forces camp near Ato border town, El Barde district, Bakool region, southwestern Somalia, on September 2.[ix] The Liyu responded by firing mortars in the direction of Yeed, another border town 25 miles west of Ato.
[i] SITE Intelligence Group, “AQAP Official Warns Factional Fighting in Shabwa Engineered to Divide Yemen, Calls for Unity around Islamic Principles,” August 31, 2022, https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Jihadist-Threat-Statements/aqap-official-warns-factional-fighting-in-shabwa-engineered-to-divide-yemen-calls-for-unity-around-islamic-principles.html.
[ii] Al Alam, “The UN Truce in Yemen enters a critical turning point,” September 1, 2022, https://www.alalam.ir/news/6338578.
[iii] Al Alam, “The UN Truce in Yemen enters a critical turning point,” September 1, 2022, https://www.alalam.ir/news/6338578.
[iv] Ansarallah, “President al Mashaat: We can now strike any point in the sea from anywhere in Yemen, not just from the coast,” September 1, 2022, https://www.ansarollah.com/archives/544440.
[v] Radio Risaala, “An attack in the Lower Shabelle region caused casualties,” September 1, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/weerar-ka-dhacay-gobolka-shabeellaha-hoose-khasaaro-ka-dhashay/.
[vi] Radio al Furqaan, “A terror attack that took place in Lower Shabelle and an official killed in Mogadishu,” September 1, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/09/weerar-cagmarin-ah-oo-ka-dhacay-sh-hoose-iyo-musuul-lagu-dilay-muqdisho/.
[vii] Radio Mogadishu, “The al Shabaab terrorist group carried out sneak attacks in Galgudud,” September 1, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/kooxda-argagixisadda-ah-ee-al-shabaab-oo-weeraro-dhuumalaysi-ah-ka-geystay-galguduud/.
[viii] Christopher Muth, Max Ryabinin, and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – June 17, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, June 17, 2022, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-june-17-2022.
[ix] Radio Risaala, “An artillery attack on a police station,” September 2, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/weerar-madaafiic-ah-oo-lagu-qaaaday-saldhig-ay-ku-sugan-yihiin-ciidamada-liyuu-boolis/.