15 Killed as Houthis, Tribesmen Battle in Central Yemen

Heavy Clashes Reported East of Sanaa

At least 15 fighters were killed today in the central Maarib Province of Yemen, as locals reported heavy clashes between Shi’ite Houthi forces and mostly Sunni tribal factions.

Sectarian fighting has typified the civil war within Yemen, as well as the Saudi war on Yemen, with the Shi’ite Houthis expanding their traditional holdings outside of the impoverished northern city of Sadaa to now cover almost the entire western coast.

Maarib, a tribal area that has been an active recruiting ground for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is also one of the few oil producing areas in Yemen, though this production is comparatively small in a region awash in oil exporters.

In addition to the Maarib clashes, fighting was also reported in Taiz and the port city of Aden. The capital city of Sanaa was pounded by Saudi airstrikes, which destroyed the airport’s runways, and also the home of a prominent Houthi official.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.