Yemen: Coalition troops repel Houthi gains in Marib, Shabwa

i24NEWS - Reuters

2 min read
Yemen's pro-government fighters take a position during fighting with Houthi rebels in the south of the strategic governorate of Marib in Yemen on January 4, 2021.
AFPYemen's pro-government fighters take a position during fighting with Houthi rebels in the south of the strategic governorate of Marib in Yemen on January 4, 2021.

Marib is considered a critical stronghold city for Yemen’s pro-government forces

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen reclaimed a number of energy-producing sites within the Marib and Shabwa provinces, pushing back against territorial gains made by the country’s Houthi rebels.

Marib's governorate encompasses the capital city of Marib, which is considered a critical stronghold city for Yemen’s pro-government forces as they battle Houthi insurgents supported by Iran.

Although the Houthi rebels hold much of the territory in Yemen’s north, they lack the resources provided by the rich oil fields in Shabwa and Marib.

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Marib is a dream for the Houthis,” a fighter in Marib, identified only as Abdulqudoos, explained to Middle East Eye

“They want to take over oil fields, but we will not allow them to advance towards that.”

“Taiz used to be a hotspot, but this year the focus is on Marib, as the Houthis realized that the real wealth of the country is in Marib and not Taiz or Hajjah,” he continued.

Pro-coalition troops, including the Giants Brigade - a militia supported by the United Arab Emirates - re-established control over areas of Assilan in Yemen’s Shabwa province.

These pro-government forces are now heading towards Bayhan.

Additionally, coalition troops retook parts along the southern and western edges of the city of Marib, three military and tribal sources disclosed to Reuters.