Another day of intense fighting was reported in the central Maarib Province of Yemen, as pro-Saudi forces attacked Shi’ite Houthis territory, aiming to open up a route into the capital city of Sanaa. At least 55 fighters on both sides were killed, and 100 others wounded.
The results of the fighting were, as is so often the case, a matter of dispute between the two factions, with the pro-Saudi side claiming mass surrenders of Houthis and small territorial gains, while the Houthis denied this and reported repelling the attack and killing dozens of “mercenaries.”
The pro-Saudi side in this fight includes tribal factions, along with Saudi and UAE ground troops, while the Houthis are backed by the remnants of Yemen’s military. The two sides have been fighting over Maarib for weeks, despite repeated predicts from Saudi officials that the province and the rest of the country would be “liberated” in short order.
The Houthis have controlled Sanaa for over a year, and six months into the Saudi war, their control only extends from Aden along the southern coast. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has capitalized on the war as well, seizing Mukalla and some of the nearby areas.