Fighting Slows in Yemen’s Maarib as Focus Shifts to Border and Coast

Oxfam estimates 100,000 displaced in fighting

After a solid year of fighting in Yemen centering on Maarib, it seems unlikely that a final battle for the central province will be fought any time soon. Focus has changed to other areas, and the fighting is moving north to the border and west to the coast.

At the peak, the Houthis controlled all of the province except Maarib City. The Houthis moved south into Shabwa to take a supply route, but a counter-offensive chased them out of that area, and took part of southern Maarib. Much  was made of this “defeat” of the Houthis.

Increased airstrikes on Houthi targets led to cross border attacks in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In recent days, fighting in Hajjah has also been a focus. Elsewhere, pro-Saudi forces have tried to contest Taiz, a province neither side has fully controlled since the war began.

Still, all that fighting in Maarib left thousands dead, and about 100,000 civilians displaced from their homes. Being displaced is always a struggle, but particularly in Yemen, where humanitarian aid is always in short supply.

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.