New fighting between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels over the strategic northern city of Marib erupted on Saturday (June 19), killing dozens, according to Agency France-Press (AFP) military sources.
The latest developments come as United Nations Ambassador to Yemen Martin Griffiths on Tuesday presented a report saying efforts to end the deadly war in front of the UN Security Council had failed. In this country, his three-year annual mission.
Several attacks by the Houthis
Iranian-backed rebels seek to seize Marib, the last stronghold of government forces in northern Yemen, and the surrounding oil fields, plunging the country into a severe humanitarian crisis after more than six years of war.
According to pro-government military sources, 47 people were killed Saturday in fighting in Marib, including 16 loyalists, including six officers. The Houthis, for their part, rarely report victims of war to their ranks.
Diplomatic efforts to end the ceasefire, which has claimed thousands of lives, have intensified in recent weeks. But, in the absence of progress, the fight finally resumed. Houthis “Attacked on several fronts, tried to advance, but most of them were driven away.”An army official told the AFP.
Military sources said Saudi-led military coalition planes had carried out attacks on Houthi bases.
The rebels, for their part, claimed on the Al-Masira television channel that the coalition had carried out 17 airstrikes in various parts of the province of Marib.
The Houthis, who control the majority of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa, are calling on Riyadh to end the air and sea blockade imposed on their country as a precondition for a ceasefire agreement.
In addition to the deadly offensive, the Houthis continue to launch missiles and drones into Saudi territory, specifically targeting its oil installations. On Saturday, Saudi air defense, which has been intervening militarily in Yemen since 2015 against the Houthis, intercepted and destroyed 11 drones fired in the direction of the kingdom by rebels, according to the official SPA press release, citing the coalition led by Riyadh.
“Interceptions were successful”The coalition said in a statement that the drones had loaded explosives and were neutralized in seven Yemeni airspace.
Various aid organizations say the war in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people. Two-thirds of the 30 million people at risk of epidemics and famine depend on international aid. Today, according to the UN, is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.