Yemen: Houthi rebels advance on oil-rich Marib province

Yemen: Houthi rebels advance on oil-rich Marib province

The war in Yemen has been raging for almost six years. Now the Houthi rebels are trying on six fronts simultaneously to advance on the oil-rich Marib province.

In heavy fighting over the strategically important city of Marib, at least 120 pro-Iranian Houthis fighters were killed within 24 hours . The insurgents launched an offensive in February on Marib, the last stronghold of the Saudi Arabia-backed Yemen government in the northern part of the country. The heaviest fights since 2018 are raging there.

According to Yemeni army circles, fighting recently broke out on six fronts around Marib, to which the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia responded with air strikes. 

The Houthi rebels only managed to advance from the Kassara Front northwest of the city of Marib, it is said.

The Shiite Houthis have already conquered numerous areas in the province east of the capital Sanaa and held them in the face of counter attacks by the government. They now control large parts of northern Yemen and areas in which around 70 percent of the population live. At the same time, they stepped up their attacks on neighboring Saudi Arabia.

A defeat of the Yemeni government troops in the battle for Marib would mean a serious setback for the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi. Should the rebels take over the city, they would have control of much of the impoverished country’s oil and gas production.

The United Nations classifies the situation in Yemen as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.