DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2017
Berbera is the emirate’s second Horn of Africa base after Assab, Eritrea.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 11, 2015
In a pivotal breakthrough in the Yemen civil war, Thursday, Dec. 11, Saudi, Egyptian and UAR marines seized from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels the Greater Hanish island, part of the strategic archipelago commanding the Strait of Bab al Mandeb, debkafile reports. This strait links the Indian Ocean with the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea – i.e. Africa and Asia. The Arab forces no doubt received help in their operation since Iran had converted the island into a regional arms supply depot and observation point for regional shipping, including Israeli sea traffic from Eilat.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 13, 2009
According to first reports, Capt. Richard Phillips jumped into the water for the second time from the lifeboat on which four Somali pirates had been holding him for four days. This time he made it to safety - possibly helped by US frogmen - giving the opening for the US Navy to attack the AK-47-assault gun-toting pirates who held him. Three were killed and one taken into custody. The captain was held after his ship the Maersk Alabama and crew was briefly commandeered. The rescue took place as the lifeboat was nearing the Somali coast where Phillips could have been made to disappear. He is now unhurt aboard the USS Bainbridge nuclear guided-missile cruiser.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 26, 2008
This land-based setup has grown up far from their lairs in Somalia to keep pace with the sea pirates' spreading grasp.
Its secret locations and covert functions are revealed in the coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out this Friday.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2008
The seizure of the Saudi supertanker has driven the world navies to take first steps to combat the increasingly brazen Somali pirates. The US and multinational naval force patrolling the coast off Somali urged merchant vessels Thursday, Nov. 20, to sail with armed guards on board and only on lanes patrolled by warships.
debkafile's sources report that the second measure is not practical for most merchant shipping when some 20,000 ships a year use the Gulf of Aden en route to the Suez Canal.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 1, 2008
Two blasts rocked intelligence facilities in the northern Somali port of Bossaso Wednesday, Oct. 29. Three huge explosions went off nearly simultaneously in the breakaway republic of Somaliland, targeting the presidential palace, the Ethiopian embassy and the UN compound at Hargeisa. The casualty estimate is nineteen dead. Bossaso in semi-autonomous Puntland is a piracy center. The suicide attacks occurred outside the usual limits of the bloody insurgency raging in Somalia.
Eritrean, Ethiopian rebel Oromo and Arab fighters taken prisoner in battles to oust Islamists from Somalia<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2007
Ethiopia has long accused Ereitrea of sending hundreds of soldiers to fight with the Somali anti-government Islamists, who were driven out of their last bastion, the southern port of Kismayo Monday, Jan. 1.
Somali PM Ali Mohamed Gedi says foreign extremists will be tried and punished without mercy while Somalis who lay down their arms will be pardoned. He said Ethiopian units who spearheaded the government's victory will leave Somalia when the country is stabilized and purged of terrorists.
To understand why the Somali conflict has drawn such broad foreign intervention, read debkafile's Special Report below.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 26, 2006
Ethiopia's intervention this week to save the weak Somali government from defeat at the hands of Islamist rebels is typical of the apparently incompatible foreign, sectarian, religious and tribal elements involved in its neighbor's civil war.
Many of the foreign elements fighting on the side of the Islamic Courts militia were sent to Somalia by Christian-ruled Eritrea to harass its rival Christian power, Ethiopia.
The Eritreans are joined by fighters from pro-Western Muslim nations of the Middle East to help a jihadist militia with strong links to al Qaeda to displace the pro-Western, internationally recognized Somali government.
Some military experts see this sectarian mishmash as a dress rehearsal for the big show should the very powers supporting the Islamist Courts in Somali decide to intervene in Iraq to restore Sunni Arabs to power and cleanse Baghdad of Shiite rule and Iranian influence.
The origins of the conflict hark back to rivalries in the Horn of Africa, which are complicated by broader Muslim Arab resentment of Christian rule in the region.
The Horn' two predominantly Christian nations, Ethiopia with a population of 73 million and tiny Eritrea with 4.5 million - who are half-and-half Christian and Muslim, are at daggers drawn. Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi and Eritrean president Isaias Afworky are third cousins and sworn enemies.
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