Forces of Yemen’s internationally recognised government and their United Arab Emirates-backed allies swept through a strategic central province, forcing Houthi rebels out of its second largest district, officials said on Wednesday.
The development in Marib province is another setback for the Iranian-backed Houthis, who for a year attempted to take control of the oil-rich province. Their offensive crumbled when the UAE-backed Giants Brigades helped reclaim the nearby Shabwa province earlier this month before advancing in Marib under air cover from the Saudi-led coalition.
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Government forces and the Giants retook the district of Harib and its center south of Marib city after nearly two weeks of fighting, pushing their way to the nearby district of Juba, said Brig. Abdou Megali, a military spokesman. The Houthis had taken the two districts last year, part of their offensive on Marib.
Fighting also raged between government forces and the Houthis elsewhere including in the provinces of Jawf and Taiz, he added.
The Giants posted footage purportedly showing their forces roaming through what they said was the centre of Harib.
Two other military officials from inside the coalition also said the district had been taken. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.