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: Reported U.S. airstrike targets AQAP militants in Jaww al Nasim district, Ma’rib governorate; security forces raid AQAP strongholds in al Wuday and Lawder districts, Abyan governorate; al Houthi-Saleh SPC leader reiterates conditions for ceasefire; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill civilians in Ibb city, Ibb governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali elections postponed for the second time; Southwest State security forces drive al Shabaab militants from Idale village near Baidoa, Bay region; unidentified warplanes target al Shabaab positions near Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants assassinate local official in Marka, Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A reported U.S. airstrike targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Jaww al Nasim district, eastern Ma’rib city on September 23. The strike killed Abu Khaled al Sanaani, a regional commander, along with three other AQAP militants, according to local sources. Reported U.S. airstrikes targeted AQAP militants in Ma’rib governorate on September 20 and al Bayda governorate on September 22.[1]
  • Security forces allied with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government raided AQAP strongholds in al Wuday and Lawder Districts, Abyan governorate on September 25. Hizam security forces killed a local AQAP leader, Abdullah Saeed Habibat, and arrested another suspected AQAP leader. Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) outside of a hospital in al Sheikh Uthman district, Aden city on September 26. Militants and security forces clashed outside of the hospital after the detonation.[2]
  • Saleh al Samad, the head of the al Houthi-Saleh Supreme Political Council (SPC), reiterated his willingness to observe a ceasefire along the Saudi-Yemeni border if the Saudi-led coalition halts its bombing campaign in a September 25 announcement. Saudi-led coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al Asiri responded that a comprehensive political solution is preferred over a temporary ceasefire.[3]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions in Ibb city, Ibb governorate on September 24. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed nine civilians and injured nine others. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed at least 30 civilians in al Hudaydah Port, al Hudaydah governorate on September 21. Saudi-led coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed al Asiri claimed that the attacks targeted a gathering of al Houthi-Saleh leadership in the presidential palace in al Hudaydah governorate.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali officials delayed lower house elections for the second time after missing the scheduled start date of September 24. Officials blamed the thirty percent quota for female representation for the delay. Serious planning for the September 2016 elections did not begin until August 2016. It is likely that the elections will be delayed until early 2017.[5]
  • Security forces from Somalia’s Southwest State clashed with al Shabaab militants in Idale village near Baidoa in Bay region on September 25. The fighting killed at least 10 individuals, including civilians. The regional security forces drove the al Shabaab militants out of the village.[6]
  • Unidentified warplanes targeted al Shabaab positions near Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on September 26. Security forces using rotary wing aircraft descended into the area and arrested four suspected al Shabaab militants. Somali Special Operations Forces (SOF) backed by U.S. SOF forces have conducted similar operations in Lower Jubba region since early 2016.[7]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants assassinated a local official and prominent businessman in Marka, Lower Shabelle region on September 25. Al Shabaab reportedly threatened Hussein Mohamed Ahmed for allowing African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces to access his drinking well.[8]


[1] “Four al Qaeda members killed in suspected U.S. drone strike: officials,” Reuters, September 26, 2016,
[2] Demolinari, Twitter, September 25, 2016,; Demolinari, Twitter, September 25, 2016,; and “New information and pictures about the bomb blast at a Aden Hospital,” Aden Times, September 26, 2016,
[3] Mohammed Ghobari and Noah Browning, “Houthi official in Yemen offers border truce, amnesty,” Reuters, September 25, 2016,; and “Final Yemen solution preferred over ‘short truce,’” al Arabiya, September 26, 2016,
[4] “Raids kill nine in central Yemen - medical official, residents,” Reuters, September 25, 2016,; “Saudi air strikes kill 20 civilians in Yemen port,” Kashmir Monitor September 24, 2016,; “Yemen’s ‘Forgotten War’ intensifies after Saudi-led air strike in al Hudaydah,” Global Voices, September 24, 2016,     
[5] “To crack the 30% fix, Somali polls must spill into 2017 -political analyst,” Goobjoog News, September 24, 2016,; “Somali election postponed due to dispute over selection of delegates-lawmaker,” Goobjoog News, September 26, 2016,; and “Top federal government leadership seeking parliamentary positions,” Goobjoog News, September 26, 2016.
[6] “Over ten killed in allied forces clash with Al-Shabaab,” Goobjoog News, September 25, 2016,; and “Ten killed as Somalia troops clash with Al Shabaab,” Shabelle News, September 25, 2016,
[7] “Warplanes hit Al Shabaab targets outside Kismayo town,” Shabelle News, September 26, 2016,
[8] “Southwest State Official Assassinated in Marka,” Goobjoog News, September 25, 2016,; and “Somalia: Renowned businessman shot dead in Marka town,” Shabelle News, September 25, 2016,
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