Sana: – On Monday, 156 Houthi rebels were killed in airstrikes by the fighter jets of Saudi and Arab allies in Yemen’s Marib province. Arab countries have retaliated against the Houthi rebels that carried out drone strikes on a passenger airport in Saudi Arabia last week. As per the Arab League, at least 550 Houthi rebels have been killed in the conflict in Yemen in the past 19 days.
For the last few days, discussions are being held between Saudi Arabia, a supporter of the Hadi government in Yemen, and Iran, an ally of the Houthi rebels. Last week, a meeting of Saudi and Iranian representatives was held with mediation from Iraq. Not all details of the meeting have been released to the media. But it is claimed that the civil war in Yemen featured in the discussions.
But while the talks continue, Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks to seize Marib. For the past few months, Houthi rebels have been launching heavy attacks on Marib, realising that it would give them full control over Yemen, as it has large fuel reserves. The Houthi rebels have also targeted civilians and military bases in Saudi Arabia that support President Hadi’s government.
Yemeni military and Arab allies are busting the attacks launched by the Houthi rebels. Monday’s operation targeted 33 Houthi rebel strongholds at Abdia in Marib. The Arab League says 156 insurgents have been killed in the attacks. This is the first time in the last two months that many Houthi rebels have been killed in a single day. In the last 19 days, the Yemeni army and the Arab League have carried out 338 attacks on Houthi strongholds.
In 2014, Houthi rebels launched a military offensive against the Hadi government in Yemen. In 2015, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Sudan joined forces for a crackdown on Houthi rebels. It is claimed that more than 233,000 people were killed in this conflict. The conflict has claimed at least 84,000 starvation deaths in Yemen. More than 3.1 million people have been displaced.
Houthi rebels have seized a large part of Yemeni territory, including the capital Sanaa. Therefore, President Hadi had to move his government to the port of Aden. The port city of Hodeida is also under the control of Houthi rebels. In such a situation, if the fuel-rich city like Marib falls to the Houthis, the Houthis will gain control of the entire Yemen. In that case, pro-Iranian Houthis could control the maritime traffic through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Against this background, Saudi and Arab allies appear to be launching heavy airstrikes on Houthis to protect Marib.