More Than 80 Yemen Rebels Killed Near Marib, Says Saudi-Led Coalition

The Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s government said today it had killed 160 Huthi rebels in strikes south of the strategic city of Marib.

 

A Saudi-led coalition said Wednesday it killed more than 82 Huthi rebels in airstrikes near Yemen’s strategic city of Marib, during the second week of intense reported bombing.

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

This is the tenth consecutive day that the coalition has announced strikes around Marib, reporting a total of around 1,300 rebel fatalities.

[READ ALSO] COVID-19: US Set To Vaccinate Kids Aged 5-11

Most of the previously announced strikes were in Abdiya about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Marib — the internationally recognised government’s last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen.

“Operations targeted 11 military vehicles and killed more than 82 terrorist elements” in the past 24 hours in the districts of Al-Jawba and Al-Kassara, the coalition fighting in Yemen said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

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

According to a government military official on Wednesday, the Huthis have made “small advances” in Al-Jawba amid clashes with loyalist troops.

The Huthis 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 Huthis 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.

10,000 Children Killed, Maimed In Yemen, Says UN

A photo of the United Nations emblem
A photo of the United Nations emblem

 

Seven years of conflict in Yemen has killed or injured at least 10,000 children, UNICEF said Tuesday after a mission to the country.

“The Yemen conflict has just hit another shameful milestone: 10,000 children have been killed or maimed since fighting started in March 2015. That’s the equivalent of four children every day,” spokesman James Elder told a UN briefing in Geneva where he urged an end to the fighting.

The figure only included child victims whose fates were known to the organisation and there were countless others, he said.

“UNICEF urgently needs more than $235 million to continue its life-saving work in Yemen till mid-2022,” Elder said.

“Otherwise the agency will be forced to scale down or stop its vital assistance for vulnerable children. Funding is critical. We can draw a clear line between donor support and lives saved. But even with increased support, the war must come to an end.”

“At the current funding levels, and without an end to fighting, UNICEF cannot reach all these children. There is no other way to say this –- without more international support, more children – those who bear no responsibility for this crisis -– will die,” he warned.

“Yemen’s humanitarian crisis –- the world’s worst — represents a tragic convergence of four threats: (1) A violent and protracted conflict, (2) economic devastation, (3) shattered services for every support system – that is, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and education, and (4) a critically under-funded UN response,” Elder went on.

“Four out of every five children need humanitarian assistance. That’s more than 11 million children.”

In addition, “400,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition. More than two million children are out-of-school. Another four million are at risk of dropping out,” said Elder.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when Iran-backed Huthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions more have been displaced.

UN Urges Ceasefire In Yemen’s Marib For ‘Safe Passage’

Fighters loyal to Yemen’s separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) are deployed at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, on October 10, 2021. 
Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

 

The UN has called for a halt to fighting in a district of Yemen’s oil-rich Marib province that pits government forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

Marib, Shabwa and Al-Bayda provinces have all seen an escalation in fighting in recent weeks, resulting in “a devastating impact on civilians”, according to David Gressly, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

The security situation has been particularly difficult in Marib’s Abdiya district, where the UN says the movement of aid and some 35,000 people has been “extremely restricted”, including for 17,000 “extremely vulnerable” people who found refuge there from conflict in other areas of Yemen.

Read Also: At Least 32 Dead, 53 Wounded In Afghan Shiite Mosque Blast – Medic

“I call on all parties involved in the fighting to agree now to a cessation of hostilities for Abdiya district to allow for the safe passage of civilians and aid workers, and for the evacuation of all of those wounded in the fighting,” Gressly said in a statement on Thursday.

The fighting in Marib — where the Huthis are battling to seize the provincial capital Marib city, the government’s last stronghold in northern Yemen — displaced some 10,000 people in September alone, the highest monthly figure so far this year.

Abdiya is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Marib city, which had between 20,000 and 30,000 inhabitants before the war, but has seen its population swell to hundreds of thousands by Yemenis displaced from earlier front lines.

With about 139 refugee camps in Marib province, according to the government, hosting around 2.2 million people, many displaced civilians have become caught in the line of fire once again.

The Huthis began a big push to seize Marib in February and, after a lull, they renewed their campaign in September, prompting intense air bombardment from the Saudi-led coalition.

The coalition entered the war in 2015 after the Huthis captured the capital Sanaa the previous year.

At Least 50 Dead As Fighting Intensifies For Yemen’s Marib

Map of Yemen.

 

At least 50 Huthi rebels and Yemeni pro-government troops have been killed as fighting intensifies for the city of Marib, a key battleground of the seven-year conflict, military sources said on Sunday.

Hundreds of fighters have died this month alone after the Iran-backed rebels renewed their campaign for Marib, the government’s last stronghold in the oil-rich north.

“In the past 48 hours, 43 Huthi fighters were killed, mostly in coalition airstrikes” west of Marib, a military source told AFP, while another source said at least seven loyalists died in fighting. The rebels rarely announce their casualties.

About 400 people have been reported dead in clashes in September for the northern city, following a lull in fighting in the region.

The Huthis initially escalated their efforts to seize Marib in February, hoping to gain control of the strategically vital city and the region’s oil resources.

Marib, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the rebel-held capital Sanaa, sits at a crossroads between the southern and northern regions and is key to controlling Yemen’s north.

The war between the Saudi-led military coalition, which backs the government, and the Huthis has killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes.

READ ALSO: Bodies Of 25 Migrants Recovered Off Yemen After Boat Capsized – Official

About 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people are dependent on aid, in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemen’s conflict flared in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led intervention to prop up the internationally recognised government the following year.

This month marks seven years since the rebels took control of Sanaa, with some analysts saying the balance has tilted in favour of the insurgents against the coalition.

While the UN and Washington are pushing for an end to the war, the Huthis have demanded the re-opening of Sanaa airport, closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before any ceasefire or negotiations.

The last talks took place in Sweden in 2018, when the opposing sides agreed to a mass prisoner swap and to spare the city of Hodeida, where the port serves as the country’s lifeline.

AFP

30 Killed In Strikes On Yemen’s Biggest Airbase

map of Yemen, Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen executed a dentist accused of spying

 

Strikes on Yemen’s largest airbase Sunday killed at least 30 pro-government troops and wounded scores more, said medical and loyalist sources who blamed Iran-backed Huthi rebels for the attack.

The strikes were carried out on Al-Anad airbase, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Yemen’s second city Aden in the south of the conflict-riven country.

The airbase served as the headquarters for US troops overseeing a long-running drone war against Al-Qaeda until they pulled out in March 2015, shortly before the Huthis overran the area.

“More than 30 have been killed and at least 56 were injured” in the strikes on the airbase in the government-held southern province of Lahij, armed forces spokesman Mohammed al-Naqib told AFP.

Video footage from the scene showed dozens of people gathered in front of Lahij hospital, where one ambulance after another was pulling up to drop off casualties.

An official from the hospital said it was all hands on deck.

“We have called on the entire staff, surgeons and nurses, to come in,” Mohsen Murshid told AFP.

“We also know that there are still bodies under the rubble”.

Naqib had in an earlier statement accused Yemen’s Shiite Huthi rebels of carrying out missile and drone strikes on the facility.

There was no immediate comment from the rebel side.

A military medic confirmed the death toll after it jumped from seven fatalities earlier in the day.

READ ALSO: 111 Yemen Govt And Rebel Fighters Killed In Marib In 3 Days – Govt

Airbase attacked in 2019 

Yemen’s internationally recognised government — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition — and the Huthis have been locked in war since 2014 when the insurgents seized the capital Sanaa.

In 2019, the Huthis said they launched a drone strike on Al-Anad during a military parade, with medics and government sources saying that at least six loyalists were killed — including a high-ranking intelligence official.

Eleven people were wounded in that attack, including Yemen’s deputy chief of staff Major General Saleh al-Zandani who later died of his injuries.

Al-Anad was recaptured by government forces in August 2015 as they recovered territory from the rebels across the south with support from the Saudi-led coalition.

Sunday’s incident is one of the deadliest since December 2020, when blasts targeting cabinet members rocked Aden airport.

At the time, at least 26 people, including three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a journalist, were killed and scores wounded in the explosions as ministers disembarked from an aircraft in the southern city.

Yemen’s grinding conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions, resulting in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Some 80 percent of Yemen’s 30-million population are dependent on some form of aid for survival.

While the UN is pushing for an end to the war, the Huthis have demanded the re-opening of Sanaa airport, closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before any ceasefire or negotiations.

The incoming UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, will officially assume his duties on September 5.

AFP

111 Yemen Govt And Rebel Fighters Killed In Marib In 3 Days – Govt

A member of security forces loyal to Yemen’s Huthi rebels walks past a bonfire incinerating seized narcotic substances, in the Huthi-held capital on June 26, 2021, the United Nations’ designated “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”. Mohammed HUWAIS / AFP

 

Clashes between rebels and Yemeni government fighters killed at least 111 in Marib in three days, pro-government sources said, following a renewed offensive by Huthi insurgents.

The Iran-allied insurgents escalated their efforts to seize Marib, the government’s last stronghold in northern Yemen, in February, and the fighting has killed hundreds on both sides.

The fighting between Thursday and Sunday killed 29 pro-government personnel and at least 82 rebels, three pro-government sources told AFP. Rebel forces have not confirmed the toll.

Yemeni government officials said that since Thursday, the Huthis had mounted intensive attacks from the north, south and west, but were unable to breach government defences which were supported by air cover from a Saudi-led military coalition.

“These areas witnessed fierce fighting amid artillery shelling from both sides and intense coalition air raids,” one government military official said.

Control of the oil-rich region of Marib would strengthen the Huthis’ bargaining position in peace talks, but the battle has also raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe, as many Yemenis had fled to the area to escape fighting in other parts of the country.

Yemen’s conflict flared in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led intervention to prop up the government the following year.

While the UN and Washington are pushing for an end to the war, the Huthis have demanded the re-opening of Sanaa airport, closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before any ceasefire or negotiations.

As well as the bloody offensive in Marib, the Huthis have also stepped up drone and missile strikes on Saudi targets, including its oil facilities.

This month the outgoing UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths told the Security Council his own efforts over the past three years to end the war had been “in vain”.

The fighting has killed tens of thousands and left some 80 percent of Yemenis dependent on aid, in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The war has also displaced millions of people and left many on the brink of famine.

Bodies Of 25 Migrants Recovered Off Yemen After Boat Capsized – Official

map of Yemen, Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen executed a dentist accused of spying


The bodies of 25 migrants were recovered off Yemen on Monday after the boat that was carrying them capsized with up to 200 people on board, a provincial official told AFP.

Fishermen who found the bodies told AFP that they were floating in the waters of Ras al-Ara in the southern province of Lahij, an area so rife with human trafficking that local people call it the “Gate of Hell”.

“The boat overturned two days ago and was carrying between 160 and 200 people,” said Jalil Ahmed Ali from the Lahij provincial authority, citing information given by Yemeni smugglers. The fate of the other people on board was unclear.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration confirmed to AFP that a boat sank in the area but said it was still trying to establish the details of the incident.

Despite the grinding war in impoverished Yemen, migrants continue to travel there in the hopes of finding work in Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring oil-rich states whose economies depend on millions of foreign labourers.

The fishermen said the victims, found in the Bab al-Mandab strait that separates Djibouti from Yemen, appeared to be of African origin.

“We found 25 bodies of Africans who drowned when a boat carrying dozens of them sank off the Yemeni shores,” said one of the fishermen.

“We saw the bodies floating in the water 10 miles from the shores of Ras al-Ara,” added another.

Migrants often find themselves stranded in Yemen, which is mired in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis after six years of conflict.

The beaches of Ras al-Ara are among the areas most targeted by smugglers.

Earlier this month, local people appealed to Yemen’s internationally recognised government to intervene, saying the area had become a free-for-all for human traffickers without any action from the authorities.

In recent months, dozens of migrants have died in the Bab al-Mandab strait, a major route for international trade but also for human trafficking.

In April, at least 42 migrants died off Djibouti after the capsize of their boat which had left from Yemen, according to an IOM report. They were likely among those who try to return home after finding themselves stranded or detained.

The IOM reported this month that 5,100 immigrants arrived in Yemen so far this year, while 35,000 travelled in 2020 and 127,000 in 2019 before the outbreak of the coronavirus which suppressed demand for labour in the Gulf states.

The UN agency often sends migrants back to their home countries from Yemen. But it said in April that more than 32,000 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, were still stranded in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country.

AFP

70 Dead In Fighting Over Yemen’s Marib – Loyalist Officials

Map of Yemen.

 

Fierce fighting for Yemen’s strategic city of Marib has killed 70 pro-government and Huthi rebel fighters over the past 24 hours, loyalist military officials said Sunday.

The Huthis have been trying to seize oil-rich Marib, the government’s last significant pocket of territory in the north, since February.

Two officials from pro-government forces told AFP that battles are raging on three fronts outside Marib city as the Huthis mount a concerted push.

The new toll comes after officials on Saturday announced 53 killed on both sides.

The 70 dead included 26 members of the pro-government forces and 44 from Huthi ranks, they said. The rebels rarely disclose their losses.

One of the officials said that the rebels “are launching simultaneous attacks” in the areas of Kassara and Al-Mashjah, northwest of the city, and Jabal Murad in the south.

READ ALSO: DR Congo Starts Countdown To End Of Ebola Outbreak

“They have made progress on the Kassara and Al-Mashjah fronts, but they have been thwarted on the Jabal Murad front,” he told AFP.

The other official said that warplanes from the Saudi-led military coalition, which entered the Yemen conflict to support the government in 2015, launched airstrikes that “destroyed 12 Huthi military vehicles, including four tanks and a cannon.”

The Iran-backed rebels in late 2014 overran the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres (75 miles) to the west of Marib, along with much of northern Yemen.

The loss of Marib would be a heavy blow for the Yemeni government, currently based in the southern city of Aden, and for its Saudi backers.

AFP

Nigeria, Yemen, S.Sudan May Experience Famine, UN Warns

Small farmer and single mother Imelda Hicoombolwa removes weeds from her field in Kaumba on January 21, 2020. Imelda Hicoombolwa is part of a program managed by the World Food Program (WFP) that consists of facilitating the adoption of climate-smart agriculture on how to efficiently grow crops after a severe drought affected the region last year.
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Small farmer and single mother Imelda Hicoombolwa removes weeds from her field in Kaumba, Zambia, on January 21, 2020.  PHOTO: Guillem Sartorio / AFP

 

Millions of people in conflict-hit Yemen, South Sudan, and northern Nigeria are at risk of famine in the coming months or already facing it, two United Nations agencies warned on Tuesday.

Existing acute food insecurity, heavy constraints on humanitarian access, conflict, economic blows, and climate shocks mean “urgent and at-scale targeted humanitarian action is needed to prevent hunger or death” in these areas, the groups said in a joint report.

The three areas were among 20 “hunger hotspots” identified by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) where existing acute food insecurity risks deteriorating further by July.

A specific sub-group — Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe — are, particularly at risk.

Parts of their populations are already experiencing “extreme depletion of livelihoods, insufficient food consumption, and high acute malnutrition”, the joint report warned.

“In such fragile contexts, any further shocks could push a significant number of people over the brink and into destitution and even starvation,” it said.

In parts of Jonglei state in South Sudan, the UN agencies said famine was already occurring, and “urgent, at-scale action is now needed to stop likely widespread starvation and death”.

Overall in South Sudan, some 7.2 million people are expected to be in a food crisis — with high malnutrition or just marginally meeting minimal food needs — from April to July.

Some 2.4 million people are classified as in an “emergency” situation, with 108,000 people in the agencies’ “catastrophe/famine” grouping.

Urgent action is also required to prevent further destitution in parts of Yemen, the report said, with the number of people in or nearly in famine estimated to triple from 16,000 last October-December to more than 47,000 this June.

Those facing acute food insecurity in Yemen will rise by three million, it said, to 16.2 million people, with five million in an emergency situation.

 

 – Conflicts, food insecurity –

Meanwhile, in conflict-affected areas of northern Nigeria, the number of people facing an emergency situation will likely double year on year to over 1.2 million by August 2021.

“Overall, in the next six months, northern Nigeria is expected to face a marked deterioration of food security and nutrition, due to conflict and economic factors, aggravated by the secondary effects of COVID-19,” it said.

There was some improvement — last November, the UN agencies classed Burkina Faso as a fourth country at risk of famine alongside South Sudan, Yemen and northern Nigeria.

But the alert in Burkina Faso had slightly lowered for the coming months, after a good harvest and improved delivery of food assistance to remote and inaccessible areas.

Continued conflict in the zone, however, means the situation “remains very concerning.”

AFP

Yemen Residents Protest Poor Living Conditions, Storm Aden Presidential Palace

Protesters, some raising the old flag of South Yemen, gather to demonstrate against deteriorating services and economic conditions, outside the internationally-recognized Yemeni government’s headquarters at al-Maashiq Palace in the Crater district of the southern port city of Aden on March 16, 2021. PHOTO: Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

 

Hundreds of angry Yemenis stormed the presidential palace in Aden on Tuesday protesting poor living conditions in the war-torn country but were eventually pushed back peacefully, an AFP correspondent said.

Protesters, including retired military and security officers, marched in the southern port city, the de facto capital where the internationally-recognized government is based.

“Revolution, revolution in the south,” they shouted.

Palace guards shot into the air but protesters continued to march in.

The crowd remained in the building for over an hour before dispersing.

READ ALSO: Children Targeted, Beheaded In Mozambique Insurgency Says Charity

A government official told AFP that Yemeni and Saudi forces escorted to safety members of the cabinet, including Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, to the military intelligence building on the palace grounds.

Protesters told AFP that they were angry over a lack of services and a delay in the payment of salaries.

Some carried flags of the southern separatist movement.

Protesters gather to demonstrate against deteriorating services and economic conditions, outside the internationally-recognised Yemeni government’s headquarters at al-Maashiq Palace in the Crater district of the southern port city of Aden on March 16, 2021. PHOTO: Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

 

Yemen’s government was formed in December under a Riyadh-sponsored power-sharing agreement between ministers loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and supporters of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council.

Both are technically fighting the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa in the north.

But the STC has sought to restore South Yemen’s independence from the north. The two sides unified in 1990.

Aden residents claim the new government has not done anything to remedy price inflation or repeated power cuts.

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war between the government — backed by a Saudi-led military coalition — and the Huthi rebels since 2014, pushing the country to the brink of famine.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict, which has crippled the economy and healthcare system.

The UN calls Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

AFP

UN Seeks Access To Migrants Injured In Yemen Blaze

In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

The UN migration agency has urged rebels who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa to provide access to dozens of African migrants who were seriously injured in a weekend hostel fire.

The Sunday blaze at an overcrowded holding facility in Sanaa killed an unconfirmed number of migrants and injured more than 170, over half of them seriously, the International Organization for Migration said.

“As many migrants are in a critical condition, meeting their health needs must be an urgent priority,” IOM Middle East and North Africa director Carmela Godeau said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are facing challenges accessing the injured due to an increased security presence in the hospitals,” she said.

“Humanitarians and health workers must be given access to support the treatment of those affected by the fire.”

There has still been no word from the Huthi rebel authorities on what caused Sunday’s fire or how many people it killed.

The IOM said more than 350 migrants, most of them from Ethiopia, were in a hangar area where the fire broke out.

“While the cause of the fire is still unconfirmed, its impact is clearly horrific,” said Godeau.

Despite more than six years of devastating conflict in Yemen that have created what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the impoverished country is still a magnet for migrants from the nearby Horn to Africa seeking a better life in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Restrictions on movement imposed during the coronavirus pandemic have led to a reduction in migrant arrivals from more than 138,000 in 2019 to just over 37,500 in 2020.

But they have also led to “thousands of migrants becoming stranded with little access to basic services or protection,” the IOM said.

It said it was working with Ethiopian authorities to restart a voluntary repatriation programme for stranded migrants.

More than 6,000 have registered to return home from Yemen’s government-held second city Aden, of whom a first 1,100 are are expected to leave in the coming weeks, the IOM said.

At Least 8 Dead In Fire At Yemen Migrant Facility – IOM

map of Yemen, Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen executed a dentist accused of spying

 

At least eight migrants and guards were killed, and scores more injured, in a fire on Sunday at a holding facility in Yemen’s capital, the International Organization for Migration said.

“Eight people confirmed dead, the total death toll is reported to be much higher,” tweeted Carmela Godeau, IOM’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“IOM is responding particularly with emergency health care for over 170 injured, more than 90 of them are in a serious condition.”

Godeau said that it “remains unclear” how the fire at the centre in Sanaa started, adding: “This is just one of the many dangers that migrants have faced during the past six years of the crisis in Yemen.”

It is believed thousands of migrants are stranded in Yemen, where a years-long conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Every year thousands of migrants make perilous boat journeys from the Horn of Africa to the war-torn nation, many with the aim of travelling overland to Gulf countries in search of work.

Last week, at least 20 people drowned after smugglers threw dozens of migrants overboard during a crossing between Djibouti and Yemen, according to IOM.