Houthis Acknowledge an Attack on Marib Resulted in Civilian Casualties

Reports

Mon, 07-06-2021 10:36:32 Morning, Aden Time

AFP

Yemen's Huthi rebels acknowledged on Sunday that they targeted a military base in strategic northern city Marib, a day after the internationally recognized government said the attack killed 14 civilians at a nearby petrol station.

Huthi political commander Mohammed Ali al-Huthi tweeted a call for an independent investigation into the attack, promising to pay "compensation" if his group were found responsible.

It is rare for the Iran-aligned rebels to admit attempting to strike a target near where civilians have died.

On Saturday, state media said a strike killed 14 civilians at the petrol station in the city of Marib, the government's last northern stronghold, and blamed the rebels for the attack.

According to two residents, the petrol station is located about a half a mile from the military base and soldiers often go there with members of their families to refuel their cars.

Al-Huthi said that the rebels “will be obligated to pay compensation" if the investigation finds them guilty of killing the 14 civilians.

The Huthi rebels launched an offensive in February to seize Marib and its surrounding oil fields – the last significant pocket of government-held territory in the north.

Heavy battles between the Iran-backed Huthis and forces of the internationally recognized government have exacerbated what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The attack came as a diplomatic push to secure a ceasefire in Yemen's long war intensifies.

Yemen's years-long conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine. 

Houthis YEMEN Marib