Dozens were killed in overnight clashes in Yemen as Iran-backed Huthi rebels intensified attacks to seize the government’s last northern stronghold, officials said on February 14.
Earlier this month, the Huthis resumed an offensive to seize oil-rich Marib, some 120km east of the capital Sanaa.
The city’s loss would be disastrous for Yemen’s beleaguered leadership.
Two government military officials said at least 16 pro-government forces were killed and 21 wounded in the past 24 hours, adding that “dozens were killed” among Huthi ranks.
The Huthis have cut off supply lines to a district about 50km south of the city, with “the goal to lay siege to Marib”, one of the sources said.
Yemen has been embroiled in a bloody power struggle since 2014 between its government, supported by Saudi Arabia, and Huthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the north.
The rebels have also escalated attacks against Saudi Arabia, drawing condemnation from the international community.
On February 14, the kingdom intercepted two Huthi bomb-laden drones fired towards the southern garrison town of Khamis Mushait, the official Saudi Press Agency cited the Riyadh-led military coalition as saying.
But a Huthi military spokesman said two rebel drones struck the airport in the nearby city of Abha.