Yemen: new rebel offensive towards the loyalist bastion of Marib

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Dubai | The Houthi rebels have resumed their offensive towards the town of Marib, the government stronghold east of Sana’a, the capital of warring Yemen under rebel control, loyalist officials said on Monday, reporting dozens of dead on both sides.

Operations resumed after several weeks of calm, thanks to the arrival of Houthi reinforcements in the region, according to these officials.

The conflict in Yemen has pitted the Houthis, supported by Iran, against government forces, supported since 2015 by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, for more than six years. The rebels have controlled much of the west and north of the country, including Sana’a since 2014.

This new offensive comes as the administration of new US President Joe Biden is reviewing its policy in Yemen, with the end of support for Saudi Arabia’s military operations and the removal of the rebels from the list of “terrorist organizations”, which threatened the distribution of humanitarian aid according to NGOs.

The belligerents have hailed Joe Biden’s support “for diplomatic efforts” but, according to experts, a solution to the conflict is unlikely on the ground in the immediate future.

One of the front lines is “some 10 km west of Marib”, the capital of the eponymous province located 140 km east of Sanaa, one of the officials told AFP. the cover of anonymity.

In recent years, the rebels have attempted several times to conquer this province, large parts of which remain under government control.

In the past 24 hours, loyalist forces have repelled “five attempted incursions by the Houthis in the direction of Marib,” the official said, deploring the loss of around 20 government troops and reporting 24 wounded in their ranks. . The record on the rebel side is not known.

On Sunday, three government soldiers were killed and four injured in their camp in Marib by a missile fired by the Houthis, other government officials said.

The war in Yemen has left tens of thousands dead and millions displaced, according to international organizations, and caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.

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