At least 31 Houthi fighters were killed in airstrikes from the US-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s Maarib province, a source from Yemen’s Saudi-backed government told China’s Xinhua.
“The airstrikes killed the militants in the desert while they were moving in three groups toward positions of the Yemeni army in the western district of Sirwah,” the source said.
The Houthi’s al-Masirah TV reported 15 coalition airstrikes on Houthi positions in Sirwah but did not disclose any casualties. Historically, the Saudi-led coalition frequently kills civilians in airstrikes and claims the dead were Houthi fighters. It’s not clear if any civilians were killed in these latest air raids. If they were, the Houthis would likely report it.
In recent months, fighting has been raging in Maarib, where the only significant territory controlled by the Saudi-backed government is located. The US and Saudi Arabia are blaming the Houthi offensive in Maarib for stalling the peace process. But the Houthis have no motive to stop until the blockade on Yemen is lifted.
The blockade is still being enforced despite UN warnings that 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of five will starve to death in 2021 if conditions don’t change, and President Biden refuses to pressure Riyadh into ending the embargo. Despite Biden’s vows to end support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive” operations in Yemen, the US is still servicing Saudi warplanes that are bombing the country.