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: ISIS assassinates security officer in al Mansoura district, Aden city; U.S. airstrike targets AQAP militants in Rada’a district, al Bayda governorate; Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target al Houthi-Saleh leadership in Razah district; protests continue in al Mansoura district, Aden city; al Houthi-Saleh forces announce missile developed in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali Federal Government requests U.S. explanation for September 28 airstrike; Ethiopian AMISOM forces may be returning to Ethiopia to stem protests; suspected al Shabaab militants assassinate Justice Ministry official in Waberi district, Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) Wilayat Aden-Abyan assassinated a security officer with small arms fire in al Mansoura district, Aden city, on September 30. ISIS claimed the attack on social media. Colonel Ali Muqbil Awad Saeed, a political security officer and member of the southern resistance, died shortly after the attack.  ISIS assassinated a political security officer in al Mansoura on September 29 following a nearly one month of inactivity.[1]
  • A reported U.S. airstrike targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Rada’a district, al Bayda governorate on September 29. U.S. Central Command confirmed airstrikes targeting AQAP militants in al Bayda and neighboring Ma’rib governorates on September 28.[2]
  • Saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted al Houthi-Saleh leadership in Razah district, Sa’ada governorate, located along the Saudi-Yemeni border, on September 29. Coalition airstrikes killed ten civilians in the vicinity of the Razah market. The Saudi-led coalition began a new phase of operations to more aggressively target al Houthi-Saleh militants and leadership responsible for cross-border attacks on September 7.[3]
  • Protesters continued demonstrations against Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghir in al Mansoura district, Aden city on September 30. Mismanagement of the state’s limited resources as caused multi-day power outages in Aden city. The state has also failed to pay government workers. Prime Minister bin Daghir led Friday prayers and called for social cohesion and unity on September 30.[4]
  • Al Houthi-Saleh forces unveiled a new missile they claimed was developed and built in Yemen. The missile, dubbed the “Sumud” or “Steadfastness,” has a 300 kilogram warhead and an effective range of 38 kilometers. Al Houthi-Saleh forces unveiled another purportedly Yemen-made ballistic missile, the “Borkan-1,” on September 2.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • The Somali Federal Government submitted a formal request for the United States to explain a September 28 airstrike near Galkayo in the Galgadud region. The Pentagon says the airstrike killed nine al Shabaab militants. The local Galmudug Administration claims the airstrike killed 22 Galmudug security forces.[6]
  • A significant portion of the Ethiopian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) contingent may have returned to Ethiopia to stem widespread protests, according to unverified reports. Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group began protesting the Ethiopian government’s land grabs, intended to expand the capital Addis Ababa, in late 2015. The Oromo protests have sparked demonstrations throughout the country. Ethiopian security forces have killed approximately 400 protesters since December 2015. The Ethiopian military contributes approximately 4,500 of AMISOM’s 22,000 troops.[7]
  • Suspected al Shabaab gunmen assassinated a Justice Ministry official in Mogadishu on September 29. The militants shot Mohamed Aden Qordhere as he left a mosque in the Waberi district of Mogadishu.[8]
[1] “Gunmen assassinated a political security colonel in Aden,” Aden Tomorrow, September 30, 2016,; and Demolinari, Twitter, September 30, 2016,
[2] Mohammed Ghobari and Katie Paul, “U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills two senior al Qaeda members: officials,” Reuters, September 29, 2016,
[3] “Witnesses: the killing of a leading al-Houthi and 10 civilians in coalition strikes in Razih District in Saada,” al Masdar, September 29, 2016,
[4] “Evening angry protests in Aden,” Aden Tomorrow, September 30, 2016,; NFKelledy, Twittter,; Saleh Khalid Saleh, Twitter,; and “The Prime Minister leads Friday prayers at a mosque in Aden and called for the need to strengthen the bonds of community and restore social cohesion,” Aden Times, September 30, 2016,
[6] “Somalia asks US to explain strike that ‘killed troops’,” Al Jazeera, September 30, 2016,; and “Somali Gov’t demands Explanation for US Airstrike,” Shabelle News, September 29, 2016,
[7] Live From Mogadishu, Twitter, September 29, 2016,;“Ethiopia Assessment of government stability amid ongoing protests,” Risk Advisory, September 27, 2016,; and “Ethiopian forces ‘killed 400 Oromo protesters’,” BBC News, June 16, 2016,
[8] “Gunmen shoot dead Somali Official in Mogadishu,” Shabelle News, September 29, 2016,
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