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: UN report indicates US, UK, and France possibly complicit in war crimes in Yemen; Hadi government officials meet Saudi and Emirati officials in Jeddah; al Houthi movement claims drone attack on Saudi airbase

Horn of Africa: AFRICOM airstrike kills al Shabaab militant near Jilib; Hirshabelle State official defects to al Shabaab

Yemen Security Brief

The UN Human Rights Council released a report on September 3 that accused all warring parties in Yemen of committing various war crimes. The report stated that the US, UK, and France may be complicit in potential war crimes by virtue of those nations’ support for the Saudi-led coalition. The report also implicated Iran in potential al Houthi war crimes.[1]

Representatives from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government met with Saudi and Emirati officials in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on September 4 to begin talks aimed at resolving a conflict in southern Yemen. The Transitional Political Council for the South (STC), a UAE-backed southern secessionist group, seized Yemen’s de facto capital, Aden, on August 10. STC-aligned forces have clashed with Hadi government-aligned forces in various locations in southern Yemen since then. The Hadi government has accused the UAE of intervening militarily on behalf of the STC during the clashes. Representatives from the Hadi government and STC have yet to meet for direct talks.[2]

The al Houthi movement claimed to conduct a drone attack on King Khaled Air Base near Khamis Mushayt city in southwestern Saudi Arabia on September 3. The Saudi-led coalition claimed to intercept the drone.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducted an airstrike targeting al Shabaab near Jilib town in Middle Jubba region in southern Somalia on September 3. The strike killed one militant.[4]

Al Shabaab announced on September 3 that an official in the Hirshabelle State government in central Somalia had defected to al Shabaab. The official, Hassan Omar Ahmed aka Hassan Mahdi, had worked with Hirshabelle President Mohamed Abdi Ware for three months before defecting to al Shabaab.[5]

Visit our Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia story streams. 

[1]“Yemen: Collective failure, collective responsibility – UN expert report,” United Nations Human Rights Council, September 3, 2019,; “Yemen: Western powers may be held responsible for war crimes – UN,” BBC, September 4, 2019,; and Sudarsan Raghavan, “U.N. report says U.S., Britain, France may be complicit in potential war crimes in Yemen,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019,

[2] “Yemen's government starts indirect talks with southern separatists in Saudi Arabia: officials,” Reuters, August 4, 2019,; and “Gulf of Aden Security Review – August 30, 2019,” Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, August 30, 2019,

[3] “Joint Coalition Forces Command ‘Coalition to Support Legitimacy, in Yemen’: Drone Launched by Iran-backed Houthi Terrorist Militia, form Imran targeting KSA, Intercepted, Shot down,” Saudi Press Agency, September 3, 2019,; and “Again.. The Air Force Drone targets the base of Khamis Mushayt with a number of Qasef 2k drones,” al Masirah, September 3, 2019,

[4] “U.S., Federal Government of Somalia target al-Shabaab terrorist with airstrike,” US Africa Command, September 3, 2019,

[5] Abdirisak M Tuuryare, “Somali Regional Official Defects To Al Shabaab,” Mareeg, September 3, 2019,; and Harun Maruf, Twitter, September 3, 2019,

View Citations
Arrow down red
Oct '19
Sep '19
Aug '19