The province of Marib, the last rebel stronghold in northern Yemen, has been the scene of a bloody battle since February, which has intensified in recent weeks.
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A very heavy toll. The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen claimed on Sunday (October 31) that it had killed more than 218 Houthi rebels in new raids over the past three days near Marib, the last rebel stronghold in the warring north of the country.
For several weeks, the coalition led by Riyadh has reported almost daily reports of rebels killed in the strikes, but the figures cannot be independently verified and the Houthis only very rarely communicate their losses. “Twenty-four military vehicles were destroyed and more than 218 terrorists” were killed in raids over the past 72 hours in Al-Jawba and Al-Kassara, the coalition said in a statement, according to the state-run SPA news agency.
The coalition is supporting the government forces on the ground, which are trying to repel the offensive of the Houthis seeking to seize the town of Marib, capital of the province of the same name. The region has been the scene of a bloody battle since February, which has intensified in recent weeks with the rebels’ advances, despite the losses.
The Houthis, close to Iran, control most of northern Yemen including the capital Sana’a. In 2015, the Saudi-led military coalition stepped in to support struggling loyalist forces. The war, which started in 2014, plunged Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN. Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have been killed and several million have been displaced, according to international NGOs.