Marib: Houthis Advancing in «Al-Juba», and «Abdiya» Under Siege


Thu, 14-10-2021 05:25 PM, Aden

Marib (South24) 

Clashes escalated between the Iranian-backed Houthi group and pro-Yemeni government forces backed by tribal members in the oil-rich Marib Governorate, in its city, Marib, its administrative center, and the last stronghold of the internationally recognized government in North Yemen.

According to military sources, the Houthis penetrated into the Al-Juba district, central Marib, after fierce battles that left dozens dead and wounded on both sides.

The group’s fighters published pictures showing their progress in Al-Juba, one of which included the home of the commander of the Beihan military axis and the 26th Infantry Brigade, Major General Mufreh Buhaibah, one of the most prominent military leaders loyal to the Yemeni government in the governorate.

A few weeks ago, the group had captured the Harib district, located on the border between Shabwa and Marib, to complete its siege of the governorate, in conjunction with its control of 3 districts west of the Southern governorate of Shabwa, without a fight.

The Abdiya district has been under a comprehensive siege by the Houthis for more than two weeks, and the Yemeni government accuses the group of committing “war crimes” in the district.

The Houthis had announced a series of military operations since the start of their comprehensive attack on Marib in February of this year, bearing the names of "clear victory, strong valor and dawn of victory", in which they took control of vast areas in the province.

On Wednesday, the group's military spokesman said that their forces had become "on the borders of Marib city", after taking control of the center of the Juba district, and other areas.

On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition announced that its air attacks over the course of 18 days had halted the Houthis' advance in the Abdiya district, which is under siege, pointing to "338 specific operations" that killed hundreds of the group's members and destroyed dozens of vehicles.

The Houthis have bombed civilian and military areas in Marib with dozens of ballistic missiles over the past months, in addition to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the hallmark of the group's recent military operations against its opponents at home, and against Saudi Arabia.

The bloody Houthi attacks left dozens of civilians dead, including children.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry condemned, on Friday, the "international silence regarding the mass war crimes by the Houthis in Abdiya, Marib," calling on the UN Security Council to "intervene to protect civilians."

Yesterday, Wednesday, the Yemeni Ministry of Defense warned against approaching the Harib-Al-Juba road in Marib, and declared it a "military zone." The coalition confirmed its support for the "measures of the Yemeni government and the Ministry of Defense to protect civilians."

"We are confident that Marib will not fall. We are ready to confront the Houthi campaign," Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said on Monday. During a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, he stressed that the battle of Marib "will determine the future of Yemen."

According to experts and observers, the Houthis are seeking to control the oil-rich Marib to facilitate their expansion in the rest of the governorates, and to enhance their negotiating position in any future peace talks, in which they will go as they control the entire soil of North Yemen. 

South24 Center for News and Studies

Photo: Houthi fighters in the Juba district in Marib (Houthi media)

North YemenHouthisIslahMaribTribesJubaAbdiyyah