Fighting Continues to Rage in Central Yemen, Killing Dozens

Houthis report 35 airstrikes against them, claim to hold key districts

Saudi Arabia declared an extended ceasefire on Friday, but that didn’t stop pro-Saudi forces from pushing an offensive into two districts in Maarib Province, leading to day-long fighting with the Houthis that left dozens killed on both sides.

Tanks and artillery deployed on both sides, and the Houthis reported that 35 airstrikes were carried out against them. They insisted, however, that they were able to repel the attacks in both districts, so no territory seems to have changed hands.

When Saudi-backed forces tried to push north from Aden against Sanaa, they were stalled at Taiz. Maarib was an alternate route, and has similarly been the site of a lot of fighting in the past several years, making it another mostly-stalemated frontline.

The Saudi-backed coalition didn’t comment at all on today’s fighting, likely because they just announced a ceasefire extension today and it would be awkward to try to explain a new offensive in that context.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.