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 leader gives major speech on the Houthis’ challenges and priorities; Yemeni president meets with UAE foreign minister in New York; AQAP mortars Yemeni Army base in southern Yemen
Somalia: Al Shabaab and Somali special forces clash in central Somalia’s Hiraan region; Somali special forces secure several villages along the Shabelle River valley in Hiraan; Turkish-trained special forces clear al Shabaab havens in central Somalia’s Galgudud region; US AFRICOM claims September 18 drone strike in support of partner forces in Hiraan
Yemen Security Brief:
Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi gave a speech for the eighth anniversary of the Houthi “revolution” on September 20.[i] Houthi identified confronting the Saudi-led coalition, defeating the “occupation,” achieving full independence, and ending the “siege” of Yemen as “great priorities.” Houthi also highlighted two additional challenges–the impact of the past on Yemen and the “emergence of personal ambition [and] desires to dispense” with major goals. He also called the truce “temporary.”
Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) President Rashad al Alimi met with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 20.[ii] The two parties discussed Yemen’s truce, Houthi truce violations, and continued Emirati support for the PLC.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) mortared the base of the 5th Infantry Brigade near Mudiyah city, Mudiyah district, Abyan governorate, southern Yemen, on September 20.[iii] The attack caused no casualties.
Somalia Security Brief:
US-trained Danab special forces and Turkish-trained Gorgor commandos clashed with al Shabaab near Samataro, Bulo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on September 21. Somali officials claimed al Shabaab mortared government forces in Booco town, causing troops to attack al Shabaab positions two miles west in Samataro.[iv] Al Shabaab said they repulsed the attacks, killing at least 40 troops, including the regional commanders of the Danab and Gorgor forces.[v] Somali officials claimed to kill eight al Shabaab militants in the fighting.[vi] Al Shabaab and residents also reported US drone strikes supported Somali forces.[vii] Somali forces and local militia secured Booco without fighting on September 20.[viii] It was the first time government forces entered Booco in 13 years.
Danab and Gorgor forces secured several villages along the Shabelle River valley in Hiraan region, central Somalia, on September 21.[ix]Al Shabaab claimed to detonate two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeting Somali forces near in the area, killing two soldiers.[x]
Gorgor forces cleared Sina Dhaqo and surrounding areas in Dhusamareb district, Galgudud region, central Somalia, on September 20.[xi] Gorgor officials claimed that troops killed at least 10 al Shabaab militants and destroyed several havens. Al Shabaab claimed to detonate an IED targeting Somali forces in the area, killing two soldiers.[xii]
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) claimed a September 18 airstrike targeting al Shabaab militants near Bulo Burde, Hiraan region, central Somalia, on September 21.[xiii] AFRICOM said the strike killed 27 militants and no civilians and helped Somali and African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces regain the initiative in days-long fighting over a 25 mile stretch of road connecting Bulo Burde and Yasooman.[xiv] Somali officials claimed Somali troops and local militia killed over 100 al Shabaab militants in the battle for the area.[xv]
[i] Saba (Houthi), “Text of the speech of the Leader of the Revolution on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the 21 September Revolution,” September 20, 2022, https://www.saba.ye/ar/news3203509.htm.
[iv] Radio Mogadishu, The government forces inflicted heavy losses on al Shabaab terrorists,” September 21, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/ciidanka-dowladda-oo-qasaaro-xooggan-gaarsiiyay-argigixisada-al-shabaab/.
[v] SITE Intelligence Group, “Amid Clashes in Central Somalia, Shabaab Claims Over 60 Casualties and Success in Repulsing Offensives,” September 21, 2022, available by subscription at www.siteintelgroup.com; Radio al Furqaan, “Details: Heavy fighting that took place today in Booco area in Hiraan region,” September 21, 2022, https://radioalfurqaan.com/2022/09/faahfaahin-dagaal-culus-oo-maanta-ka-dhacay-degaanka-booco-ee-gobolka-hiiraan/.
[vi] Radio Mogadishu, “The government forces inflicted heavy losses on al Shabaab terrorists.”
[vii] SITE Intelligence Group, “Amid Clashes in Central Somalia, Shabaab Claims Over 60 Casualties and Success in Repulsing Offensives;” @MDhaaysane, Twitter, September 21, 2022, https://twitter.com/MDhaaysane/status/1572554225338679299?s=20&t=u9_zFikj7zgacWMdCO--rg.
[viii] Radio Dalsan, “Government forces have taken over an area in Hiran region,” September 20, 2022, https://www.radiodalsan.com/wararka-idaacadda/ciidanka-dowladda-oo-la-wareegay-degaan-ka-tirsan-gobolka-hiiraan/.
[ix] Radio Risaala, “The armed forces have carried out operations in the areas of Hiraan,” September 21, 2022, https://radiorisaala.com/ciidamada-xoogga-dalka-oo-howlgallo-ka-sameeyay-degaano-katirsan-hiiraan/.
[x] SITE Intelligence Group, “Amid Clashes in Central Somalia, Shabaab Claims Over 60 Casualties and Success in Repulsing Offensives.”
[xi] Radio Mogadishu, “The army killed al Shabaab militants in an operation in Galgadud,” September 21, 2022, https://radiomuqdisho.so/ciidanka-xoogga-oo-howl-gallo-ka-dhacay-galguduud-ku-dilay-maleeshiyaad-ka-tirsan-al-shabaab/.
[xii] SITE Intelligence Group, “Amid Clashes in Central Somalia, Shabaab Claims Over 60 Casualties and Success in Repulsing Offensives.”
[xiii] US Africa Command, “Federal Government of Somalia engages terrorists with support from U.S. forces,” September 21, 2022, https://www.africom.mil/pressrelease/34736/federal-government-of-somalia-engages-terrorists-with-support-from-us-forces.
[xiv] Brian Carter and Liam Karr, “Gulf of Aden Security Review – September 19, 2022,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/gulf-of-aden-security-review/gulf-of-aden-security-review-september-19-2022.
[xv] Goobjoog News, “More than 100 Al-Shabaab militants killed in Hiran region- Somali government,” September 20, 2022, https://goobjoog.com/english/more-than-100-al-shabaab-militants-killed-in-hiran-region-somali-government/.