Yemen: Dozens killed as fighting renews near northern city of Marib

 11 hrs agoLikeAngelina Jolie pens book to help children fight injusticeRonaldo to wear Man U’s No.7 shirtGovernment fighters defend Marib against Houthi rebels© Provided by dw.com Government fighters defend Marib against Houthi rebels

Dozens of fighters were reported killed on Thursday in Yemen amidst renewed clashes between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and government forces near Marib.

At least 65 fighters have died over the past 48 hours, as rebels tried desperately to seize the key city, the government’s last stronghold in oil-rich north of the country, according to military and medical sources cited by AFP news agency.

The Houthis have not launched a major offensive on Marib since June, after suffering losses in airstrikes carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces.

Fighting has picked back up again in Yemen since Sunday, after strikes on Yemen’s second-largest airbase killed government soldiers. The attack was the deadliest incident in the country’s protracted civil war since December.

UN envoy says efforts ‘in vain’

The renewal of hostilities comes days before the UN’s new special envoy to Yemen, Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg, is set to take up his post. His predecessor, Martin Griffiths, told the UN in June that all his efforts to broker a ceasefire in the last three years had been “in vain.”

Houthi rebels are hoping to control Marib before peace talks are taken up again, as it would provide a valuable bargaining chip. They have also demanded the re-opening of country’s biggest airport in Sanaa, closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before they return to the negotiating table.

Yemen’s civil war has been ongoing since 2014. Often seen as a proxy war between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, tens of thousands have died and 80% of the country’s population is now reliant on aid to survive.

The UN has called the lack of food and medicine in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

On Monday, lawyers representing victims of the conflict submitted a request to the International Criminal Court for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by pro-government forces. The case centers on Saudi airstrikes that killed 140 people at a funeral in 2016 and 40 children on a school bus in 2018.

es/wmr (AFP, AP) AdChoices

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