The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen said Sunday it has killed 80 Huthi rebels in the past 24 hours in strikes around the northern pro-government bastion of Marib. The Saudi-led coalition has been reporting high death tolls in almost daily strikes since October aimed at repelling a rebel offensive on the city of Marib, the government’s last stronghold in the north.
The Iran-backed Huthis rarely comment on the tolls, which have exceeded 3,000 in the past weeks, “Nineteen military vehicles were destroyed and 80 terrorist elements eliminated” in the latest raids, the coalition said in a statement carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA.
It said the operations were carried out in Sirwah to the west of Marib, Al-Jawf province to the north, and Al-Bayda province farther south. Meanwhile, according to a government military official on Sunday, 14 loyalists were killed and 23 others wounded in clashes in the past 24 hours in Marib province.
The Huthis began a major push to seize Marib city in February and renewed their offensive in September. A loyalist military official acknowledged Tuesday that the Huthis have made advances on the ground. Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.
Tens of thousands of people have died and millions displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.