Jordan News | Latest News from Jordan, MENA
October 21 2021 2:26 PM ˚

‘Massive’ Houthi attack on Marib thwarted — military sources

A Yemeni government fighter fires a vehicle-mounted weapon at a frontline position during fighting against Houthi fighters in Marib, Yemen March 9, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)
A Yemeni government fighter fires a vehicle-mounted weapon at a frontline position during fighting against Houthi fighters in Marib, Yemen March 9, 2021. (Photo: Reuters)
  • +
  • -
DUBAI — Yemen government forces have thwarted a “massive” Houthi attack west of Marib city and reinforced their positions as they defend their last northern stronghold, two military commanders and an official said Tuesday. اضافة اعلان

But they said the Iran-backed insurgents had advanced in four areas of the Mashjah front, another key battlefield in their battle to seize the oil-rich region from Saudi-led coalition-backed government forces.

Fierce fighting on multiple frontlines around the strategic city has left at least 67 dead over the past 24 hours, including some 27 loyalist personnel, the three sources said. 

According to one of the commanders taking part in the defense of Marib, the government forces “succeeded in repelling a massive attack” at Al-Tala’a Al-Hamra, about 18km west of the city. 

“Losing it would enable (the rebels) to advance towards hills and sites close to Marib, and the road would be clear towards the western entrance to the city,” the source added. 

The second commander confirmed the details. Al-Tala’a Al-Hamra is located near the main highway connecting Marib with the rebel-controlled capital Sanaa. 

On Sunday, military sources told AFP that the rebels had taken full control of the Kassara battlefield to the northwest, putting them within 6km of the city center, as well as progressing on western frontlines despite Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.

The Yemeni government’s Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani disputed the version related by the loyalist officials on the ground, and denied that the Houthis had taken Kassara. 

Multiple government sources have told AFP that the next two weeks will decide the fate of the offensive that erupted in early February, saying that some 2,000 of their soldiers have been killed so far, along with thousands more Houthi fighters. 

The rebels rarely disclose their own losses. The three sources said that government forces are building defenses on the outskirts of Marib, digging trenches and piling up mounds in anticipation of any breakthrough by the rebels.

In a series of meetings with representatives of Yemeni civil society, women, political parties, and journalists, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said the attack on Marib had to stop. 

In the talks in Egypt which concluded Monday he warned of the dire humanitarian consequences of the offensive, and said it jeopardized the peace process.

The government estimates that two million displaced people have made their way to Marib, seeking safety from a devastating war now in its seventh year. 

The US administration of President Joe Biden is mounting a renewed push to end the conflict, warning that the suffering will only end when a political solution is found.

Read more Region & World 
NEWS RELATED TO