More than a hundred Yemeni rebels have been killed south of Marib, according to the coalition.
More than 100 Yemeni rebels were killed south of Marib on Wednesday, according to the Saudi-led coalition, which reported a high toll for the third day in a row in the battle for the important city.
After declaring more than 156 dead on Monday and more than 134 dead on Tuesday, the coalition reported the Huthis’ latest casualties in the Abdiya district “exceeded 108.”
As a result, the unconfirmed death toll in the area has risen to almost 400 this week, according to an analyst who claims the rebels have made major progress.
The coalition could not explain how it arrived at such figures, despite the fact that it depends primarily on air strikes to battle the Shiite Huthis. AFP was unable to independently verify them.
“In the last 24 hours in Abdiya, we have launched 19 operations targeting (Huthi) militia members, destroying 12 of their military vehicles and losing over 108 individuals,” the coalition said in a statement aired by state-run Al-Ekhbariya television.
Since the rebels renewed their campaign to conquer Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen, horrific casualties have occurred.
In a video message released on Tuesday, the Huthis claimed to be “near the outskirts of the city.”
According to Adam Baron, a political expert who focuses on Yemen and the surrounding region, the rebels have gained “substantial” territory.
“The advancements are pretty substantial on both a strategic and psychological level,” he told AFP. “These are locations that were viewed as quite secure just a year or two ago.”
Yemen has been ravaged by a seven-year conflict pitting rebels against the government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military alliance.
In 2014, the rebels overran the capital Sanaa, which is just 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Marib, triggering a Saudi-led intervention the following year to prop up the government.
Since then, tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced. Many people have migrated to Marib, which has seen a population explosion since the war began.
Six persons were killed in a car explosion targeting the governor of Aden, the government’s provisional seat of power, on Sunday, in addition to the casualties in Abdiya. He made it through the attack.
The Aden blast, according to Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek Saeed, was a “escalation” by the rebels.
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of providing weapons and drones to the Huthis, but Tehran claims it merely gives political support.
The Huthi insurgents have also used drones and missiles to launch cross-border strikes against Saudi Arabia.