Yemen

Houthis gain more ground against Saudi-led militants in Ma’rib

Fighters from Yemen’s popular Houthis Ansarullah movement have gained more ground against Saudi-led militants in the oil-rich Ma’rib Province.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel reported on Friday that the Houthis, which have been defending war-wracked Yemen against the Saudi aggression, advanced west of the city of Ma’rib, retaking several sites from the Saudi-led militants loyal to former Riyadh-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The Yemeni fighters, it added, are currently on the western outskirts of Ma’rib, their first presence in the area since the start of the Saudi war in 2015.

The Houthis’ latest advance comes at a time that pro-Hadi militants attempt to capture areas they had lost in Ma’rib’s neighboring al-Jawf Province.

The Yemeni forces launched an operation, dubbed al-Bunyan al-Marsoos, late last month in a bid to liberate the militant-held areas in Ma’rib and adjacent regions. The operation came after the Houthis managed to fend off an attack by the Hadi loyalists in the Nehm district of Sana’a province.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its vassal states launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the Hadi regime and eliminate the Houthis.

The military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has killed and injured hundreds of thousands of people, and plunged Yemen into what the UN says the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

‘Houthis still stand strong’

On Friday, Turkey’s TRT World TV channel provided a general analysis of the situation in Yemen, saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman waged the war with the assumption that the Houthis were a “ragtag force.”

However, it noted, five years into the war, the Houthis “stand as strong as the first day of fight.”

“At first, the plan looked perfect on paper. With the support of a mix of powerful Western and Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia’s de-facto leader, the young, ambitious but politically inexperienced Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), would bulldoze everything in his way to prove himself worthy for the title of crown prince,” the report said.

“The moment came in 2015, when MBS, then-Saudi defense minister, decided to flex his muscle in the country’s “backyard” Yemen… Fast forward to 2020, everything Saudi Arabia had planned in Yemen went wrong,” it added.

The report further emphasized that bin Salman has now become “a victim of his own assumptions, considering the Houthis a mere ragtag force and hoping the Saudi intervention would be a walk in the park.”

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