AL-MUKALLA: A Hezbollah military leader fighting for the Iran-backed Houthis has been killed in clashes with government forces in the central province of Marib, Yemen’s information minister revealed on Thursday.
In a tweet, Moammar Al-Eryani said that expert adviser Akram Al-Sayed died when Yemeni army troops shelled Houthi positions south of Marib, inflicting a blow to a Houthi militia push to seize control of Marib city.
The Houthis are being supported by thousands of fighters, including many from Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq.
Al-Eryani called on the international community and UN Security Council permanent members, “to condemn this blatant interference, which undermines de-escalation efforts in Yemen, continues bloodshed, and exacerbates humanitarian suffering of Yemenis.”
The minister urged an intensification of sanctions against Lebanese Hezbollah and demanded that the government in Lebanon curb the influx of Hezbollah fighters to Yemen.
The Yemeni government has long accused Iran of deploying fighters from its proxy militias in the region to reinforce the Houthis.
In August, the Yemeni government announced the death in a coalition airstrike in Serwah of an Iranian military officer who was providing the Houthis with frontline military advice in Marib.
Last year, Arab coalition warplanes killed two Hezbollah military experts in Yemen during airstrikes on a training camp outside Houthi-held Sanaa.
Meanwhile, sources in Marib reported an increasing number of attacks by the Houthis on government troops over the past two weeks which had been concentrated on a chain of mountains known as Al-Balaq, on the southern edges of Marib. Heavy fighting had left dozens of combatants dead on both sides, they said.
Yemen’s Defense Ministry denied Houthi claims that the group had seized control of strategic eastern parts of Al-Balaq saying that army troops and allied tribesmen had repulsed attacks.
Several civilians were wounded on Thursday when two missiles fired by the Houthis ripped through Al-Hamma camp that hosts 264 internally displaced families on the outskirts of Marib, the government’s Executive Unit said.
It added that the number of displaced people living in Marib city and its surrounding areas had increased to 2,231,460 after 96,328 people had fled districts south of Marib since early September.