Saudi-led coalition kills 157 Houthi rebels in raids after foiled attack on Abha airport

Marib's fall could signal a bloodier shift in the seven-year conflict, experts say

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said it has killed 157 Houthis in raids in Abyan and Al Bayda after foiling an attack by the Iran-backed rebel forces on Saudi Arabia's Abha airport on Saturday.

The coalition also said it launched 32 operations and destroyed 14 Houthi military vehicles, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Al Bayda fell to the Iran-backed rebels earlier this year, as they pushed to capture the strategic oil-rich city of Marib. The two regions share a border.

“Marib’s fall would far more likely shift the conflict into a new and potentially bloodier phase than end it,” the International Crisis Group think tank said in an October 14 report.

Earlier this month, US envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking said he met Saudi and Yemeni officials in Washington DC to discuss “how the brutal Houthi offence on Marib is obstructing peace” and how economic instability is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

This came after a series of bloody attacks by the Houthis in recent weeks, including a rocket strike on a mosque and religious school that killed 29 civilians, including women and children.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to support the internationally recognised government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. - Additional reporting by agencies

Updated: November 8th 2021, 6:31 AM
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