45 Houthi rebels killed in Yemen’s Marib

Sanaa: At least 45 Houthi rebels were killed in multiple airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition and in ground clashes with the Yemeni government army in the oil-rich province of Marib in the last 24 hours, military sources have confirmed.

 “In the western district of Sirwah, the airstrikes targeted a rebel makeshift operational room, killing at least 12,” one of the sources in Marib told Xinhua news agency on Saturday.

 “In the adjacent district of Rahabah, to the south of Sirwah, the airstrikes destroyed several pick-up vehicles carrying rebel combatants, killing more than 20,” he added.

Another military source said the army repelled a fierce attack launched by the Houthi rebels from three directions on its positions in the mountains of Al-Bayadh and Al-Abzakh in Rahabah district.

“Thirteen rebels were killed on the ground, while dozens fled,” he told Xinhua.

Both strategic mountains and most of Rahabah district were recaptured by the army last week.

Meanwhile, the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported 11 Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on the Houthi positions in Sirwah and Rahabah, without providing more details.

The Houthi rebels began in February a major offensive on Marib in an attempt to seize control of the oil-rich province, the government’s last northern stronghold.

The UN has warned that the offensive on Marib, which hosts nearly 1 million internally displaced people, could lead to a major humanitarian catastrophe.

 Yemen’s civil war flared up in late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.