Saudi Forces Again Claim Gains in Central Yemen, But Victory Elusive

Officials Confirm Only 'Slight Advance' in Maarib Province

Two weeks into their “major offensive” against Yemen’s Maarib Province, the Saudi-led forces are once again claiming gains, saying they killed 20 Houthi rebels in a major setback for the Shi’ite movement that controls northern Yemen, a battle they’ve been predicting imminent victory in virtually since it started.

Despite the bragging about death tolls and the continued talk of an imminent breakthrough, local officials said that the pro-Saudi forces only managed a “slight advance” on the ground, and still don’t have that straight shot to the capital city of Sanaa they’ve been talking up since the offensive began.

A Yemeni officer involved in the operation says it remains slow going and the ground troops came across a field of land mines in the mountainous region they’re trying to cross, slowing the operation even more.

Saudi Arabia began attacking Yemen almost six months ago, vowing to reinstall former President Hadi, who resigned in January. Hadi has been reinstalled in the southern city of Aden, but the north of the country remains overwhelmingly under the control of the Houthis.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of