Weekend Fighting Escalates as Dozens Killed in Yemen’s Maarib

Govt, Houthis swap 36 prisoners in Maarib deal

Another week of fighting in northern Yemen’s Maarib has come and gone, and not only is there no sign of it ending, but dozens more were killed over the weekend in continued escalation.

Northern Yemen’s Houthis are trying to take over the last government holding in Maarib, while the government, increasingly reliant on airstrikes, are trying to reverse courses and attack other parts of Maarib.

Things are looking bad, but tribal mediators in the area managed to get the two sides together to work out a prisoner swap, with each agreeing to release 18 prisoners to the other side.

The swap could be a prelude to new diplomacy in Maarib, though it might just be an unusual incident as the fighting rages. Fear of new fighting is also on the rise in Hodeidah, the vital Yemen aid port, where five civilians were killed. Both sides are blaming the other for the incident.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.