Houthi rebels are reported to have made military gains in the central Marib province amid fighting against Yemeni government forces, according to local sources on Wednesday.
Houthi rebels have seized the village of al-Qahir, al-Rawda and al-Khuweir, and Waset town in southern Marib, the sources said.
“The Yemeni army and tribesmen are engaged in fierce fighting against Houthis to prevent the fall of al-Jubah district near the center of Marib,” the sources added.
On Tuesday, the Yemeni government warned of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe amid a rebel blockade on Al-Abdiyah district in Marib.
In recent months, Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks to take control of the oil-rich Marib province, one of the most important strongholds of the legitimate government and home to the headquarters of Yemen’s Defense Ministry.
On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration said more than 74,000 Yemenis have been displaced from their homes since the start of this year due to ongoing fighting in the war-torn country.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises with 233,000 people killed, nearly 80% or about 30 million needing humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara