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: PLC meets with Saudi defense minister to resolve differences; Houthi president and prime minister meet with UN special envoy; UN special envoy gives statement on discussions with Houthis

Somalia: Al Shabaab assassinates the Banadir regional police commander in southern Somalia; al Shabaab militants attack SNA forces in recently captured territory in central Somalia; SNA clears al Shabaab militants from numerous villages in southern Somalia; al Shabaab militants attack Kenyan forces border town in southwestern Somalia; al Shabaab executes six alleged SNA and US spies in southwestern Somalia

Yemen Security Brief:

The Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) met with Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman in Riyadh on September 28 to resolve differences between the PLC members.[i] The defense minister reiterated Saudi support for the PLC. The Saudi ambassador to Yemen also attended the meeting. An anonymous Yemeni official said that the meeting focused on building “consensus” in issuing decisions.[ii]

Houthi President Mahdi al Mashaat and Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtoor discussed the truce with UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg on September 28. Mashaat reiterated the Houthi demands for salaries and “lifting the siege.”[iii] Mashaat said a “failure to alleviate humanitarian suffering” in Yemen is a rejection of the truce. Grundberg did not comment on any Houthi “conditions” after leaving Sana’a on September 28.[iv]

Grundberg “held intense discussions” on salary payment, reopening ports and airports, and “maintaining calm on the frontlines,” with the Houthis in a September 29 statement.[v] Grundberg said pursuing further “peace over war” will necessitate “courage and leadership” from the Houthis and Yemeni government.

Somalia Security Brief:

Al Shabaab assassinated Banadir Regional Police Commander Farhan Qarole with a roadside improvised explosive device near Lada-Bundaale, Bal’ad district, Middle Shabelle region, southern Somalia, on September 30.[vi] Al Shabaab claims the explosion killed six people and wounded 13 others.[vii]

Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali National Army (SNA) and local Ma’awisley militia forces in Qohle, Burlo Burde district, Hiraan region, central Somalia on September 29.[viii] The fighting killed a prominent local clan elder.[ix] Al Shabaab claims the attack killed more than 20 SNA and militia members.[x] The SNA claims to have repelled the attack and killed nearly 40 al Shabaab militants.[xi]

SNA forces cleared al Shabaab militants from nine villages near the Basra area along the Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regional border in southern Somalia on September 30.[xii] The SNA claimed to kill five al Shabaab members during the operation.[xiii]

Al Shabaab militants attacked the Somali-Kenyan border town of Giriley, Beled Hawo district, Gedo region, southwest Somalia, on September 30. Al Shabaab torched a water well and destroyed a well drilling rig. The attack killed 11 people, including Kenyan soldiers and civilians.[xiv]

Al Shabaab executed six alleged SNA and US spies in Kuunyo Barow, Jilib district, Middle Jubba region, southwestern Somalia, on September 30.[xv]

[i] Al Arabiya, “Khalid bin Salman confirms support for the Yemeni Leadership Council’s initiatives for a political solution,” September 28, 2022,; and al Araby al Jadeed, “Saudi Arabia gathers members of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council to resolve differences,” September 29, 2022,

[ii] al Araby al Jadeed, “Saudi Arabia gathers members of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council to resolve differences,” September 29, 2022,

[iii] Saba Houthi, “President al Mashaat meets the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the UN and his accompanying team,” September 28, 2022,

[iv] Al Sharq al Awsat, “Grundberg leaves Sana’a without commenting on Houthi conditions for extending truce,” September 30, 2022,

[v] Office of the Special Envoy-Yemen, Twitter, September 29, 2022,

[vi] Saalax Saciid Sabriye, “How did the explosion kill commander Farxan Qaroole,” Caasimada, September 30, 2022,

[vii] Somalimemo, “Urgent: Mogadishu police chief killed and al Shabaab claims responsibility,” September 30, 2022,

[viii] Hiraan Online, “Prominent Hiran clan elder killed in al Shabaab counter attack,” September 29, 2022,

[ix] Garowe Online, @GaroweOnline, Twitter, September 29, 2022,

[x] Somalimemo, “Battle killed 20 soldiers and army officers in Moqakori,” September 29, 2022,

[xi] SONNA, “SNA repulses terror raid, killed more than 40 militants,” September 29, 2022,

[xii] SONNA, “National military seizes nine villages including strategic Basra,” September 30, 2022,

[xiii] Radio Dalsan, “The Federal Government spoke about the operation in nine villages this morning,” September 30, 2022,

[xiv] Goobjoog News, @GoobjoogNews, Twitter, September 30, 2022,

[xv] Somali Dispatch, “Al Shabaab executes alleged spies,” September 30, 2022,

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