Reuters quoted military sources and a local official as saying that the defenses of the Yemeni government in the Sarwah district (west of the city of Ma’rib) collapsed, and that the front line is now about 20 kilometers from the city
23/2/2021–|Last updated: 2/23/202107:24 PM (Makkah)
The Yemeni government called on the United States to put pressure on the Houthis to stop the attack they launched in the Marib Governorate (northeastern Yemen), which prompted thousands of other residents to flee.
During his meeting today, Tuesday, in Riyadh with the US special envoy to Yemen Tim Linder King, Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak called on Washington to pressure the Houthis to stop the military escalation, and warned of the dangers of this escalation to the peace process.
Bin Mubarak warned of the great humanitarian cost arising from the continued Houthi escalation in Marib.
For his part, Linder King stressed his country’s position that the Houthis should stop all military operations in Marib, and refrain from what he described as destabilizing actions.
During a separate meeting in the Saudi capital with the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, the Yemeni foreign minister reiterated that the Houthis are not serious about peace, believing that the attack on Marib proves that their decision depends on Iran.
Bin Mubarak called for pressure on the Houthis to realize that violence only generates violence, stressing the government’s commitment to engage in peace efforts.
For his part, Griffiths expressed his concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Marib, stressing that reaching a political solution by negotiation is the solution to end the war in Yemen.
The Yemeni government said earlier that the Houthis misunderstood Washington’s cancellation of its designation as a terrorist group.
Battles and displacement
The Yemeni government’s call to pressure the Houthis to stop the military escalation in Marib comes at a time when the battles near the capital of the governorate are warning of a major humanitarian crisis.
Yesterday, Reuters reported – from military sources and a local official – that the defenses of the government collapsed in the Serwah district (west of the city of Ma’rib) and that the front line is now about 20 km from the city.
The sources said that hundreds of fighters from both sides were killed in clashes in the gas-rich Marib region, indicating that the Houthis may have lost more fighters during the weeks-long offensive in light of the air superiority enjoyed by the Emirati-Saudi coalition forces that support the Yemeni government headed by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
In a tweet posted on Twitter on Sunday, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam said their forces would continue fighting until the entire country was “liberated”.
For his part, the Yemeni National Army said that it was carrying out offensive and defensive operations in Marib to repel Houthi attacks, referring to the role of the Iranian ambassador in Sanaa in the current escalation by the Houthis.
Battles continue around Marib, at a time when the International Crisis Group warned of a humanitarian catastrophe unprecedented in contemporary history if the Houthis attacked the city, which includes displaced people from other regions.
The Executive Unit for the Management of Displaced Persons Camps in Yemen (governmental) announced today that more than 1,500 families have been displaced due to the escalation of fighting in the Ma’rib Governorate during the last two weeks.
Earlier, the International Organization for Migration of the United Nations said that about 116,000 people in Yemen had already left their homes during the past year, and thousands more had been displaced in recent weeks by the fighting.