Houthi ballistic missile hits central Yemeni city of Marib

Special Houthi ballistic missile hits central Yemeni city of Marib
The Saudi-led coalition intercepted a Houthi ballistic missile targeting Riyadh(File: AFP)
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Updated 01 March 2021

Houthi ballistic missile hits central Yemeni city of Marib

Houthi ballistic missile hits central Yemeni city of Marib
  • Help sought to prevent huge displacement of people

AL-MUKALLA: A ballistic missile fired by the Houthis on Monday killed one civilian and wounded nine others in the central Yemeni city of Marib, local officials said.

It exploded inside Rawdha district, which hosts the city’s largest concentration of displaced people, a health official told Arab News. Marib has a displaced population of more than two million.

The Houthis have escalated missile and drone strikes on Marib since their offensive on the city started last month.

More than 15 missiles and explosive-laden drones have struck the city, killing civilians and provoking local and international condemnation.

Marib is the government’s last bastion in the northern part of Yemen, and is rich in oil and gas.

Local media said on Monday that several Houthi field commanders, including commanders of elite forces, had been killed in fighting with government forces outside the city during the last few days.

More than 1,000 Houthis have been killed, wounded or captured in Marib province in four weeks of heavy fighting, local army commanders said.

On Monday Yemen’s Defense Ministry said that army troops and allied tribesmen, backed by air support from the Arab coalition, had repelled Houthi attacks on different government-controlled areas outside the city.

In Rahabah district, government forces pushed back a Houthi attack on Monday and mounted a counteroffensive, killing and wounding a number of rebels and destroying their equipment, official media quoted Brig. Gen. Hussein Al-Hulaisi, the commander of the Jabal Murad front, as saying.

The army commanders said that government forces recaptured “strategic and important” locations in the district.

In Al-Kasara, north-west of Marib, the army and allied tribesmen foiled a Houthi incursion into their locations and forced them to retreat.

Coalition warplanes targeted Houthi gatherings and military reinforcements, smoothing the way for government forces to take the upper hand and make limited gains, the Defense Ministry said.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Awadh bin Mubarak has appealed to the UN and international aid and rights organizations to “urgently” step in to spare the country from another humanitarian crisis.

During a telephone call with the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock on Sunday night, the minister said the Houthi offensive would trigger huge displacements in Marib and aggravate the already dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the official Saba news agency reported.

The UN official demanded the Houthis halt their offensive on Marib and unify efforts to address the humanitarian crisis, malnutrition and famine that threatened hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, Saba said.