Yemen's Houthis kill three children in missile attack

Thirty people were wounded in the strike on a residential area of Marib city as rebels continue their offensive to take the oil-rich province

Three children and a woman died in Houthi missile attacks in northern Yemen's Marib city, residents and local officials have said.

Thirty people were wounded in the incident on Sunday evening.

"Three Houthi missiles hit the overpopulated neighbourhood. Two houses were destroyed and six others were partially damaged," a resident who asked to remain anonymous told The National.

"The explosions resulting from the missile strikes were tremendous, which spread fear among the children and women.”

Sunday's attack came as the Iran-backed militia continued a major offensive in Marib, which is near the country's biggest oilfields and is the last northern stronghold of Yemen's internationally recognised government.

"We strongly condemn the continuous missile attacks carried out by the Houthi militia which repeatedly target the residential areas in Marib province and the latest attack which targeted the populated neighbourhood of Al Rawdha in Marib city," Ahmed Arman, Yemen's Minister of Legal Affairs and Human Rights told The National on Monday.

In September, the rebels intensified fighting in the southern part of the oil-rich province and took control of the Harib district, 95 kilometres south of Marib city.

"We call upon the international community, the UN special envoy to Yemen and all the organisations and human rights agencies to immediately stop the Houthis' continuous carnage against the civilians in Marib province," Mr Arman said.

After seizing the town of Harib, the rebels sent more fighters and began a new offensive to reach the oilfields of Safer through the main road that stretches from Harib across the district of Al Jubah from the south.

The Houthi escalation in southern Marib has worsened the humanitarian situation in some southern districts, mainly in Harib and Al Jubah, where clashes have forced thousands to flee camps for displaced people for a second time.

Quote
The rebels neither allowed them to flee nor allowed humanitarian organisations to provide them with life-saving aid
Dr Khaled Musaed, IDP Executive Unit deputy director

Dr Khaled Musaed, deputy director of the Internally Displaced People's Executive Unit in Marib, told The National the conflict had forced 1,546 families to flee their camps in Harib and Al Jubah.

"Meanwhile 5,143 families are still under the Houthi siege in the district of Al Abdiya in southern Marib," he said.

The rebels would not allow displaced people to flee, neither did they permit humanitarian organisations to provide them with relief aid, Dr Musaed said.

"We call upon all the international and local humanitarian organisations working in Yemen to urgently respond to the needs of the new IDPs in southern Marib," he said.

"They need urgent action to help them. They need shelter, food, water and essential healthcare as soon as possible."

Houthi rebels have been pushing towards Marib since February despite suffering heavy losses around the oil-rich city. Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have caused major casualties among their ranks.

Marib is one of the most important areas for the Houthis because of its significance as the government’s last northern stronghold. Located near large reserves of oil and gas, the city is connected to a road network linking several governorates.

Control of the city would give significant influence to the Houthis in any future peace negotiations.

Updated: October 6th 2021, 8:30 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS