Pro-Saudi Forces Pound Yemen’s Houthis, Claim Major Gains in Maarib

Heavy Artillery Strikes Reported Along the Outskirts of City

Pro-Saudi forces carried out heavy shelling against targets around Maarib being held by the Shi’ite Houthi forces, claiming further gains in the central province as they throw more and more troops at the area, trying to gain territory giving them a corridor to the northern capital of Sanaa.

The shelling came after the Houthis issued a statement claiming progress of his own, including capturing a Saudi fighter, who was displayed on Yemeni state media. The most recent estimates are that the Houthis still hold some 20% of the Maarib Province.

But even as the Houthis retreated from some indefensible areas, they have mined a lot of those areas, making them impractical for use by the Saudi faction in an advance on the capital. Commanders in the pro-Saudi force have predicted taking Sanaa and the rest of the country in short order after Maarib.

Yet these predictions that a gain will give way to many more aren’t necessarily borne out in the past, with the previous attempt to leap-frog from Aden to the city of Taiz stalling quickly, and fighting over that major city continues. Maarib was indeed the attempt to get around not being able to take Taiz, and while the offensive may be going better, the Houthis are still defending the area.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.