Yemeni Army, Allies to Seize Control over Marib If Pro-Hadi Militants Dismiss Truce
By Staff, Agencies
A senior Yemeni official said the country’s army troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees will establish full control over the entire districts of the central province of Marib in case Saudi-led militants refuse calls for a ceasefire in the strategic area.
Marib provincial governor in Yemen's National Salvation Government, Major General Ali Muhammad Taiman, told Beirut-based al-Mayadeen network that the Yemeni army troops and allies are now in control of 85% of the province, and are only about 6 to 7 kilometers away from the provincial capital of the same name.
He added that the Yemeni armed forces are currently positioned on the outskirts of Marib city, stressing that, “We agreed to the initiative by [the leader of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement] Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, for a ceasefire. However, Saudi militants loyal to Yemen's fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi kept bombing women and children. We want peace and strongly oppose bloodshed.”
He added, “[Sayyed] al-Houthi’s initiative is fair, as it involves the locals of Marib in its administration and appropriation of its resources. Such an initiative had not been developed for the past 40 years. We presented the truce initiative from a position of strength.”
Taiman highlighted that he was “ready to sit with his counterpart in Hadi’s administration, Major Sultan al-Aradah, either in the al-Jubah district or in Sirwah, in order to discuss the initiative and stop skirmishes in Marib.”
“We hope [Saudi] mercenaries in Marib would agree to Houthi’s initiative, and quickly implement it if they want to spare the province from war and destruction,” he added.
The senior Yemeni official further noted: “If the mercenaries have the courage to take the decision, we are ready to sit down with them.”
Taiman said, “While we follow the initiative and are waiting for the other side’s action[s], no measure has unfortunately been taken yet. Yemeni army forces and fighters from Popular Committees would not hesitate to liberate the rest of Marib in case Saudi mercenaries turn down the truce initiative.”
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.