Saudi Coalition Sends Troops to Reinforce Yemen’s Marib as Houthis Close in on Gov’t Stronghold

Middle East

The United Arab Emirates has begun dismantling a key military base in Eritrea that it used to wage war against the Houthi movement as it withdraws from the six-year-long conflict. Despite a devastating air campaign, the Saudi-led coalition hasn’t been able to stop the Houthi advance or its attacks into Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has doubled down its defense of the central city of Marib, shuffling troops and equipment in from other parts of the country as Houthi forces close in on the city.

Al-Masirah, a Houthi media outlet, claimed on Thursday that the government reinforcements included members of Daesh* in their ranks. Local affiliates of Daesh and al-Qaeda* have both struggled for influence in eastern Yemen since even before the war began in 2015, with some Western-made weapons sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, another coalition partner, being found in their hands.

Al Jazeera reported there have been hundreds killed on both sides since the offensive began earlier this month. Meanwhile, Houthi forces reportedly succeeded in capturing all of Marib Dam on Thursday, a strategic location about 7 miles south of the city with a commanding view over nearby highways.

Outside Powers Encourage De-escalation

On Monday, UN Undersecretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said he was “very alarmed about the military escalation in Marib and its impact on the…

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