Dozens killed as battle for Yemen's Marib flares

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Battles between government forces and Huthi rebels over the strategic city of Marib have been renewed by both sides.
  • According to military sources, this Iran-backed war of seeking to seize control over Marib and its oil field, has left 47 dead.
  • The UN say this civil war broke out back in 2014 and has left millions of civilians on the brink of famine should it continue longer.

Renewed battles between government forces and Huthi rebels over the strategic city of Marib in northern Yemen have left 47 dead, including 16 pro-government forces, military sources said on Saturday.

The Iran-backed rebels are seeking to seize control of Marib and its surrounding oil fields, the Yemeni government's last stronghold in the north after six years of fighting that has plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis.

Diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire in Yemen had intensified, in parallel with the fierce campaign for control of Marib, which has left thousands dead on both sides.

But with no agreement in sight, the fighting has flared again after a lull over the past month.

Sources with the internationally recognised government told AFP that 16 soldiers from their ranks were killed, including six officers, on Saturday. The insurgents rarely report their casualties.

READ | Images reveal Yemenis faced starvation through Ramadaan as humanitarian crisis grows

The Huthis "launched attacks on various fronts, in an attempt to advance, but they were mostly repelled," one of the officials told AFP.

The sources said that warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition, which supports the beleaguered government, launched air strikes on rebel sites.

The Huthis said on their Al Masirah television channel that the coalition had also carried out 17 air strikes in different parts of Marib province.

The renewed fighting over Marib comes after the failure of a diplomatic push by the United Nations, the United States and regional nations to secure a ceasefire in Yemen.

The outgoing UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Tuesday told the Security Council his own efforts over the past three years to end the war have been "in vain".

"It is with deep regret that I report today that the parties have not overcome their differences," he said.

OPINION | Are SA weapons being used in Yemen civil war? Five questions for Open Secret's Michael Marchant

Yemen has been devastated by the civil war which broke out in 2014, and millions of civilians are on the brink of famine, according to the UN.

The Huthis have repeatedly demanded the re-opening of the airport in the rebel-held northern capital of Sanaa before agreeing to any ceasefire.

As well as the bloody offensive in Marib, the Huthis have also stepped up drone and missile strikes on Saudi targets, including its oil facilities.

Saudi air defences on Saturday intercepted and destroyed 11 drones fired at the kingdom by Huthi rebels in Yemen, Saudi state media reported, quoting the coalition battling the insurgents.

"The interception operations were successful," the coalition said in a statement, adding that the drones were packed with explosives and seven were neutralised in Yemeni air space.


Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory for employees in workplaces?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it is the responsible thing to do
46% - 3678 votes
No, vaccination should be an individual choice
43% - 3481 votes
No, but those who are unvaccinated should have to work from home
11% - 851 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.63
-0.5%
Rand - Pound
20.34
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.36
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.74
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,814.05
-0.8%
Silver
25.49
-0.1%
Palladium
2,665.50
+0.7%
Platinum
1,050.61
-1.4%
Brent Crude
76.05
+1.8%
Top 40
62,852
-0.9%
All Share
68,971
-0.9%
Resource 10
70,683
-2.0%
Industrial 25
88,051
-0.4%
Financial 15
12,906
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE