Yemen: 90 dead in new battles for control of Marib, loyalists say

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New clashes between Houthi rebels and government forces left 90 dead on Monday and Tuesday over the capture of Marib, the last stronghold of government forces in northern Yemen, military sources told AFP.

Fighting continues between government forces and rebels in Marib province, northern Yemen. They have killed 90 people in the past two days, military sources told AFP on Tuesday (June 22).

Close to Iran, the Houthi rebels have been waging an offensive since February to wrest this last government stronghold in the warring north of the country, despite diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire. The north of Yemen is largely in the hands of the rebels who also control the capital Sana’a.

Government forces foiled Houthi attacks on various fronts north of the town of Marib, capital of the province of the same name, after fierce fighting that killed 63 rebels and 27 government-loyal fighters, the sources said. military to promote.

Coveted for its wealth in oil and its political stake, the Marib region had experienced a lull in recent weeks against the backdrop of diplomatic negotiations carried out by the United Nations (UN) and the United States.

But Houthi attacks have been increasingly “frequent” in recent days, according to a government official, whose forces are supported on the ground by a military coalition led by Sunni Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s neighbor and big rival. region of Shiite Iran. On Saturday alone, the fighting for the conquest of Marib left 47 dead, including 16 loyalist fighters. The Houthis, for their part, very rarely report victims in their ranks.

Blockage around the ceasefire agreement

The conflict in Yemen, a poor country in the Arabian Peninsula, erupted in 2014 after an offensive by the Houthis from the north. The country has since become the world’s worst humanitarian disaster according to the UN, with tens of thousands of deaths according to NGOs and a population on the brink of famine.

>> To read also: Yemen: why the Houthi rebels refuse the hand extended by Riyadh

Visiting Vienna on Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud told a press conference that his country wanted to “stop the war and turn to a political path”, regretting that the Houthis did not accept Riyadh’s ceasefire offer.

A failure of diplomatic efforts to end the war in the country recognized by the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, last week.

The Houthis are calling on Riyadh to end the air and sea blockade imposed on their country as a precondition for a ceasefire agreement.

With AFP

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