Nine killed in clashes between pro-gov’t forces, Houthis in Yemen’s Marib

Nine killed in clashes between pro-gov’t forces, Houthis in Yemen’s Marib

Aden, Mar 25: Fierce clashes erupted between Yemeni pro-government forces and Houthi militants on Sunday in the country’s northeastern Marib province, resulting in a total of nine fatalities among both sides, a military official told Xinhua.

The local military official, who asked to remain anonymous, said heavy artillery fire was noticed during pre-dawn armed confrontations on the Balaq front lines south of Marib province, making it one of the fiercest battles between the two sides in months.

The source stated that “the hours-long gun battles left three soldiers dead and four others injured, while six Houthi fighters were killed and several more wounded within rebel ranks.”

The escalation comes in the wake of a relative calm that had prevailed across Marib’s frontlines, where the internationally recognized government forces have managed to fend off large-scale attacks by the Houthis.

The renewed violence flies in the face of recent appeals by the United Nations for maximum restraint to protect tentative progress toward ending Yemen’s nine-year civil war.

During a UN Security Council session on Thursday, UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg urged the warring parties to reduce rising hostilities and “refrain from provocations” that could jeopardize nascent peace efforts.

Yemen’s grinding war, which erupted in 2014 when the Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa, has precipitated one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in 2015 in an attempt to restore the government.

Despite multiple diplomatic endeavors over the years, neither side has demonstrated the requisite will to revive negotiations aimed at resolving a conflict that, according to United Nations estimates, has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and pushed millions more to the brink of famine.


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