Over 60 Killed in Heavy Fighting Between Army, Houthis, in Yemen’s Maarib

Battles raged throughout the weekend

Another ugly weekend of fighting come and gone in northern Yemen’s contested city of Maarib has left 66 fighters killed, according to a pro-Saudi military source. Battles were in several frontline areas over the past 48 hours.

The sources said that 62 Houthis were among the slain, along with four troops. They added that every Houthi attempt to advance was completely foiled. The Houthis have not commented, but it is not unusual for the two sides to have conflicting narratives.

Houthi media reported 26 Saudi airstrikes in the two-day period of the fighting, and said that the fight is continuing. They didn’t offer any details on deaths.

Maarib is the only government-controlled city in the territory of the former North Yemen. The Houthis control the rest. The fight over Maarib has been raging since February, with emphasis on it being an “oil rich” city.

Oil rich is subjective, and while more oil passes through Maarib than much of Yemen, Yemen is also the poorest country in the Middle East by a long shot. The oil revenue would be trivial by any other country’s standards.

Control over Maarib is seen as important in the long run, with both sides likely to want to use control in the next round of peace talks

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.