Battle for Marib: Yemeni Army Close to Retaking City from Saudi-led Forces
By Staff, Agencies
Victory appears to be on the horizon in the heated battle for Yemen’s strategic central province of Marib as army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have reportedly taken control of most areas there and dislodged Saudi-led coalition forces and Riyadh-backed militants from those regions.
A Yemeni military source told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Yemeni soldiers and their allies had encircled Marib city, following weeks of fierce clashes with Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.
The source added that Yemeni forces had cut off the main supply route into the eastern flank of Marib, which leads to the Arab country’s largest province of Hadhramaut.
“After gaining complete control over all the heights overlooking the city of Marib from all directions, mopping up operations to clear the last remaining pockets of al-Qaeda elements and mercenaries of the aggressors [Saudi-led coalition] are only a matter of time,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the governor of Yemen’s southern province of Aden has warned that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafist Islah Party is transferring Takfiri militants from southern areas to Marib to join the ranks of Saudi-led coalition forces and Hadi loyalists in battles against Yemeni soldiers and their allies.
“The Islah Party, which is on the verge of collapse in Marib, is brining Takfiri militants from several regions, mostly from southern provinces under the occupation of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], into Marib,” Tariq Salem told Yemen’s official Saba news agency.
He stressed the need to confront the deployment of such terrorists, who are seeking to carry out target killings and criminal schemes in Marib in the face of the anticipated triumph of Yemeni armed forces and their allies.
“What people in the southern [Yemeni] provinces are enduring is the result of continued [Saudi-UAE] occupation and the influx of Takfiri militants. It is highly worth taking into consideration that no Yemeni citizen, either in Marib or elsewhere in the country, must subject their families, their properties as well as public interests to danger,” Salem pointed out.
Separately, an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room said that during the past 24 hours, forces of the Saudi-led military coalition and their mercenaries have breached 148 times an agreement reached between the warring sides during a round of UN-sponsored peace negotiations in Sweden in December 2018.
The source at the monitor added that the violations in the western coastal province of Hudaydah included formation of fortification lines near 50th Street, al-Jabaliya and al-Mandhar neighborhoods, a dozen reconnaissance flights over Hays, al-Durayhimi and al-Tuhayat districts, 35 counts of artillery and mortar shelling, as well as 95 shooting incidents in various regions.