Battles between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces and the Houthi militia intensely raged over the control of the country’s oil-rich province of Marib during the past 24 hours, a military official told Xinhua.
According to the local military official who asked to remain anonymous, “ferocious armed confrontations occurred during the past 24 hours as the government forces attempted to repulse an all-out Houthi offensive against Marib.” He said that the Houthi military offensive was successfully repulsed by the government forces supported by scores of local tribesmen following several hours of intense fighting. The ferocious battles resulted in the killing of nearly 25 soldiers of the government forces and 33 members of the Houthi group so far, he added. The Houthis had managed to achieve limited on-ground progress towards Marib’s western areas during the past several days, the official said.
Warplanes of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened and carried out a series of airstrikes targeting the Houthi-held locations in Marib during the past 24 hours. Intense fighting erupted during the past months as the Houthis tried to advance on Marib, where hundreds were killed or injured from both sides in the non-stop armed confrontations amid heavy airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. Escalation of fighting between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia has so far displaced thousands of families from western Marib.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni military conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi’s government.