Yemen Claims Houthis Expelled From District in Maarib

Army retook district with heavy backing from tribal fighters

Fighting over the northern city of Maarib in Yemen continued apace over the past week, and the military is now claiming to have control of Rahba District, in the southwest of the key city. Houthi forces were expelled from the area, according to the report, with the army heavily supported by tribal fighters.

Maarib has been contested for months on end, as the last city in Yemen’s north still under government control. The Houthis had slowly been making gains on several fronts. This is a substantial turnaround for the government.

Whether they can maintain this reverse remains to be seen, with the military already suggesting they are moving south from Rahba, away from Maarib and toward the also contested Bayda Province.

Generally, both sides hope to parlay small victories into big ones, and are willing to keep sending reinforcements at the sign of a setback. This has long meant territory changes are very temporary, and the only constant is fighting.

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.