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: U.S. Central Command confirms airstrikes targeting AQAP militants in Ma’rib and al Bayda governorates; ISIS detonates car bomb targeting security officer in Aden city; AQAP detonates IED targeting Hizam security officer in Lahij governorate; Hadi government and allied forces announce new operational phase to retake Taiz city
Horn of Africa: U.S. confirms September 28 airstrike targeting al Shabaab in northern Somalia; U.S.-backed Somali SOF raid village north of Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; suspected al Shabaab militants detonate IED in Karan district, Mogadishu
Yemen Security Brief
- U.S. Central Command confirmed two airstrikes that targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Ma’rib and al Bayda governorates in a September 28 announcement. U.S. strikes killed two AQAP militants in Aww al Nasim district, eastern Ma’rib city on September 20 and two AQAP militants in al Sawr area in al Sawma district, al Bayda governorate on September 22.
- The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Aden-Abyan detonated a car bomb targeting a security officer in al Mansoura district, Aden city on September 29. Colonel Abdul Hakim al Mashreqi survived the assassination attempt. ISIS claimed the attack and shared pictures on social media. ISIS last claimed an attack targeting security forces aligned with President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in Aden on September 6. Security forces seized weapons and explosives from a reported ISIS safe house in Aden city on September 29.
- Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting a Hizam security officer in the Bi’r Nasir area in northern Lahij governorate on September 29. No casualties were reported. Hizam security forces are an Emirati-backed force tasked with counterterrorism operations and security in southern Yemen.
- Hadi government and allied forces announced a new operational phase to retake territory from al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz governorate. Hadi government and allied forces clashed with al Houthi-Saleh forces in Dhabab area, western Taiz city, and in al Zunuj area, northeastern Taiz city. The Saudi-led coalition provided air support. Airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh positions in al Rubay’i, al Saman, Daboun, and Manaam areas of Taiz governorate.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- The Pentagon confirmed that U.S. airstrikes killed nine al Shabaab militants in northern Somalia on September 28. Galmudug officials claimed that the strike killed 22 Galmudug security forces. A Pentagon spokesman denied the allegations. Galmudug officials blamed the strikes on Puntland State intelligence misidentifying the Galmudug forces as al Shabaab. Galmudug and Puntland have clashed over territorial disputes in the past. The U.S. helped Puntland develop its intelligence apparatus in the early 2000s. An al Shabaab spokesman claimed that the group had no fighters in the area during the time of the blast. Galmudug citizens burned American flags and images of U.S. President Barack Obama in protest.
- Somali Special Operations Forces (SOF) accompanied by U.S. advisors raided a village in Kalishunba area, north of Kismayo in Lower Jubba region on September 29. The SOF operators killed at least three al Shabaab militants and detained numerous others. This is the second raid by U.S.-backed forces near Kismayo this week.
- Suspected al Shabaab militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in a livestock market in the Karan district of Mogadishu on September 29. The blast wounded multiple civilians. Al Shabaab militants attacked a police station in the Karan district on August 21.
 “Two Strikes in Yemen Kill 4 Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Defense, September 28, 2016, http://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/958067/two-strikes-in-yemen-kill-4-terrorists; “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” Critical Threats, September 21, 2016, http://www.criticalthreats.org/gulf-aden-security-review/gulf-aden-security-review-september-21-2016; “Gulf of Aden Security Review,” Critical Threats, September 22, 2016, http://www.criticalthreats.org/gulf-aden-security-review/gulf-aden-security-review-september-22-2016 ; and An al Qaeda leader in a Yafa hands himself over to the coalition forces in Aden,” Aden Tomorrow, September 28, 2016, http://adenghd.net/news/222598/#.V-0T1CErK02.
 “Injury to an official at the airport # Aden, a roadside bomb exploded in his car,” Barakish, September 29, 2016, http://barakish.net/news02.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=440882; Demolinari, Twitter, September 29, 2016, https://twitter.com/demolinari/status/781486720755888128; and “In Aden, security forces say they raided the house of a military commander of "Daesh" and seized weapons,” al Masdar, September 29, 2016, http://almasdaronline.com/article/84985.
 Demolinari, Twitter, September 29, 2016, https://twitter.com/demolinari/status/781251790222290944; and Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, Twitter, September 29, 2016, https://twitter.com/Dr_E_Kendall/status/781188113280434176.
 “A military operation by the resistance and army troops in Taiz for the Liberation of sites in the western and north of the city,” al Masdar, September 29, 2016, http://almasdaronline.com/article/84986.
 “US accused of killing 22 in misdirected Somalia air strike,” Reuters Africa, September 28, 2016, http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN11Y2MK?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0; Jamie McIntyre, “US airstrikes kill al Shabab fighters in Somalia,” Washington Examiner, September 28, 2016, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/us-airstrikes-kill-al-shabab-fighters-in-somalia/article/2603120; “US Announces Strike on al-Shabab Fighters in Somalia,” Shabelle News, September 29, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/09/us-announces-strike-on-al-shabab-fighters-in-somalia/; and “Somalia: US accused of killing 22 troops in air strike,” Al Jazeera, September 28, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/somalia-accused-killing-22-troops-air-strike-160928171913430.html.
 “Somali, foreign forces raid Al shabaab base in Somalia,” Shabelle News, September 29, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/09/somali-foreign-forces-raid-al-shabaab-base-in-somalia/.
 ‘Three killed in Mogadishu livestock market - Witness,” Shabelle News, September 29, 2016, http://www.shabellenews.com/2016/09/three-killed-in-mogadishu-livestock-market-in-mogadishu/.