Houthis Seize Key Districts in Central Yemen

Civilians displaced as Houthis chase pro-Saudi forces out

Heavy fighting in central Yemen looks to be picking up, with the pro-Saudi government rushing reinforcements into Bayda, and the Houthis having made substantial gains in the area.

On Sunday, the Houthis captured the Nateh and Naman Districts in Bayda, making quick gains over security forces and sending the civilian population fleeing in anticipation of major battles. The Houthis moved on to contest Bayhan, which would put them closer to the contested city of Maarib.

Bayhan District looks like it will be the next battleground, with both sides massing fighters there. In between contested Bayda (mostly Houthi-controlled) and Maarib (mostly government-controlled) both sides are hoping a win there will shift momentum in their favor.

This new round of fighting risks further delaying efforts to kickstart peace talks, as both sides are likely to believe they’ll be in a more advantageous position if they win this next battle and can therefore negotiate a more favorable pact.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.