165 Houthis Killed in Central Yemen, Gains Made Around Maarib

Over 1,000 killed since Monday

The Saudi-led coalition reported killing another 165 Houthis in Yemen on Sunday, and said they had killed at least 1,000 of them in the past week of fighting, mostly in Maarib.

Maarib fighting has been escalating for weeks, going from scores killed in a big exchange to 100+ killed seemingly every single day. This is happening as the Houthis gain ground around Maarib, nearing the city.

It isn’t just Maarib either, as the Houthis are also amassing gains to the south in Shabwa. Maarib has long been touted as the last northern Yemen city that the Houthis don’t control, and it appears after that they’ve got sights on parts of the south.

Saudis reported 32 airstrikes in the past 24 hours near Maarib, likely producing the majority of the Houthi casualties. This too is a substantial escalation, reflective of the increasing desperation to slow down Houthi gains.

The hope has long been that after Maarib the two sides could be brought into new peace talks. That’s entirely possible still, though a Houthi victory is going to put them in a strong bargaining position, one the Saudis might not accept.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.