Yemen’s Houthis Take Key Mountain, Advance on Maarib

Dozens of casualties reported on both sides

Weeks of fighting over the north Yemen city of Maarib, the last government stronghold in North Yemen, was supposedly all but over. The military claimed to have reversed the momentum not so long ago, and were looking to move against the Houthis.

Instead, the Houthis have counterattacked, seizing Mount Hilan, overlooking Maarib, and are now making a substantial advance on the city. The UN is calling for an end, warning of humanitarian catastrophe.

Yemen, particularly in the north, just lurches from one humanitarian catastrophe to another, though it seems to be mentioned chiefly when it is the rebels on the advance, and not the Saudi-backed government.

Reports from the area say that dozens of casualties were reported on both sides in Maarib, which is roughly in line with what the fighting has done regularly since it began. There is no sign of major changes, despite the mountain falling so far, and a high death toll rarely indicates anything but the status quo in Yemen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of