Yemen & Red Sea Yemen's Houthis raise stakes in Marib

Yemen’s Houthis raise stakes in Marib

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Houthi fighters are laid to rest in Sanaa.

This is one of 15 funerals taking place in the Yemeni capital on the same day; many killed during recent clashes in the Marib province.

Military sources and a local official said on Monday (February 22) hundreds of fighters have been killed in a weeks-long Houthi offensive there.

It’s the conflict’s most deadly clashes since 2018, as the Iran-aligned forces fight to take Marib city – the last stronghold of the internationally-recognized government.

It comes amid renewed diplomacy to end the six-year war, and as the U.S. calls it quits, saying they would end support for a Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government.

The U.N. is urging the Houthis to return to negotiations, warning the fighting could cause mass displacement.

The gas-rich region of Marib has been a refuge for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence during the country’s six-year-old war.

At the mass funerals the tone is defiant.

Reuters sources say that the Houthis may have lost more fighters than the government during the offensive, with coalition forces boasting air power.

One military source is calling the situation “a blood bath.”

The sources say pro-government defenses to Marib’s west have collapsed with the frontline now roughly 12 miles from the city.

A Houthi spokesman says their forces would keep fighting until the entire country is “liberated.”

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