Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
More than 100 Yemeni rebels have been killed south of Marib, the Saudi-led coalition said on Wednesday, as fighting for the strategic city reported a heavy toll for the third day in a row.
The latest casualties of the Iran-backed Houthis in Abdiya district rose to “over 108”, after the coalition announced more than 156 dead on Monday and 134 more on Tuesday.
The unconfirmed death toll in the region rose to nearly 400 this week as one analyst said the rebels had made significant progress.
The coalition, which relies heavily on airstrikes to counter the Shiite Houthis, did not say how it reached those figures. could not be independently verified by AFP.
The coalition said in a statement carried by state-run al-Ekhbariya television, “We have conducted 19 operations targeting (Houthi) militia members in Abdiya in the past 24 hours, destroying 12 of their military vehicles and causing 108 damage.” exceeded the members.”
The battle for Marib, the last bastion of the internationally recognized government in oil-rich northern Yemen, has suffered heavy casualties as rebels resumed their campaign to seize Marib last month.
The Houthis said they were “on the edges of the city” in a video statement on Tuesday.
Adam Baron, a political analyst focused on Yemen and the wider region, said the rebels had made “significant” regional gains.
“The progress at both the strategic and psychological level is significant – these are areas that were seen to be quite safe just a year or two ago,” he told AFP.
Yemen has been devastated by a seven-year war pitting rebels against a government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Rebels captured the capital, Sanaa, just 120 kilometers (75 mi) west of Marib, in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led intervention to overthrow the government the following year.
Since then thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced. Many fled the Marib, whose population has increased since the start of the war.
As well as the deaths in Abdiya, six people were killed on Sunday in a car bombing targeting the governor of Aden, the government’s provisional seat of power. He narrowly survived the attack.
Prime Minister Main Abdulmalek Said called the Aden explosion an “escalation” by the rebels.
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supporting the Houthis with weapons and drones, but Tehran says it only provides political support to the rebels.
Houthi rebels have repeatedly targeted Saudi Arabia in cross-border attacks using drones and missiles.
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