Saudi-led coalition says 48 Yemen rebels killed near Marib

AFP , Tuesday 19 Oct 2021

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Tuesday it killed 48 Houthi rebels in air strikes on two districts near the strategic city of Marib, during intense fighting this week.

Saudi Arabia

The Iran-backed Houthis rarely comment on losses, and the numbers could not be independently verified by AFP.

This is the ninth consecutive day that the coalition has announced strikes around Marib, reporting a total of more than 1,200 rebel fatalities.

The previously announced bombings were in Abdiya about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Marib -- the internationally recognised government's last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen.

The strikes reported Tuesday were closer to Marib.

"Operations targeted six military vehicles and killed 48 terrorist elements" in the past 24 hours in the districts of Al-Jawba and Al-Kassara, the coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Al-Jawba lies about 50 kilometres from the city and Al-Kassara is about 30 kilometres northwest.

According to a government military official on Tuesday, fighting between the two sides "continues on a number of fronts but there are no major advances or changes on the ground in recent hours".

The Houthis began a major push to seize Marib in February and have renewed their offensive since September after a lull.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The seven years of conflict have killed or injured at least 10,000 children, the United Nations children's fund, UNICEF, said on Tuesday after a mission to the country.

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