Saudi Arabia-led coalition 'air strikes kill 150 Houthi militants in Marib'

Thirteen military vehicles were also destroyed in the operation in Al Abdiya district, coalition says

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen said it had killed 150 Houthi militants near southern Marib, as fierce fighting raged for the strategic oil-rich district.

Air strikes "destroyed 13 military vehicles and killed 150 terrorist elements" in Al Abdiya district within the past 24 hours, the coalition said in a statement carried by official Saudi Press Agency.

The Houthi militants scored a significant progress in Al Abdiya but the local pro-government tribes still fight on the outskirts and the district has not fully fallen to the rebels.

The latest toll takes to more than 1,100 the number of rebels the coalition says it has killed in the past week around Al Abdiya, which is about 100 kilometres from Marib, the internationally recognised government's last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen.

In a televised speech on Monday, rebel leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi called for continued fighting.

On Sunday, the Houthis declared on Twitter that they had advanced on several fronts around Marib, including Al Abdiya, where the coalition says it is pounding the insurgents.

The Houthis 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 Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres west of Marib, prompting Saudi Arabia-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 has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN last week called for a halt to fighting in Al Abdiya, where it said the movement of aid to tens of thousands of people had been "extremely restricted".

Updated: October 19th 2021, 7:45 AM
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