AL-MUKALLA: At least 40 Houthi fighters reportedly were killed in fierce fighting with government forces outside the central city of Marib in Yemen over the past 24 hours, during which the militia fired a ballistic missile and a drone at the city.
A local military official told Arab News on Tuesday that the government troops, backed by air support from the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, seized control of a large swath of land, including a mountain range, in Al-Faleha and Al-Radaha, south of the city, after killing dozens of rebels.
Army troops and allied tribal fighters have been intensifying their counterattacks on Houthis outside of Marib since the beginning of the year in a bid to push them back from the strategically important city.
The government’s Giants Brigades, military units previously stationed on the country’s west coast, have liberated the district of Hareb and are currently battling the Houthis in Abedia district, both located south of Marib.
The military gains by the brigades, who liberated the oil-rich province of Shabwa from the Houthis last month, has alleviated the military pressure on government troops defending the city, which has been under attack by the Houthis for almost a year.
Also in Marib, residents and local officials said on Tuesday that a missile and a drone packed with explosives, fired by the Houthis, hit the city’s Rowdah neighborhood, triggering large explosions that rocked parts of the city. No one was hurt in the attack.
Similar Houthi strikes in Marib have killed or wounded hundreds of civilians since early last year as the militia attempted to advance into the city. The Rowdah neighborhood hosts the largest concentration of internally displaced people, with more than 2 million living there.
The latest missile and drone attack came a day after four civilians, including an infant, in the government-controlled Saleh district of Taiz were wounded by mortar fire launched by the Houthis from the edges of the southern city. And on Sunday, another Houthi mortar attack wounded four internally displaced people in Maqbanah, west of Taiz.