Saudi Coalition: Over 180 Houthis Killed Near Yemen’s Maarib

Huge death tolls reported as Houthis near control of contested Maarib

Saudi coalition officials reported Friday that they conducted another operation against the Houthis in Yemen, claiming to have killed over 180 “terrorist elements” just south of the city of Maarib.

Reports of huge Houthi death tolls are almost a daily occurrence in Yemen, with over 100 killed almost every day this week. The Houthis, however, have been making gains, and control parts of Maarib city and surrounding districts.

Heavy fighting around Maarib has made aid deliveries increasingly difficult, which is a problem anywhere in Yemen, as even during peacetime most cities have to import a majority of their food. During the war, it has put everyone on the brink of starvation.

The UN is calling for a pause in fighting to get more aid into the area. That seems unlikely, as the pro-Saudi side is relying heavily on large death tolls to provide the illusion of doing well in the war, even as the Houthis draw closer to taking the city outright.

Maarib was first attacked in February, as the last city in North Yemen held by pro-Saudi forces. The site has become valuable primarily for its symbolic worth, though it also has some small amount of oil wealth, fairly rare for impoverished Yemen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.