Escalating fighting over Yemen's Marib multiplies woes
Aden (Yemen) Oct 17: The recent wave of fighting between Yemen's government forces and the Houthi rebels in the country's oil-rich province of Marib aggravated the woes of internally displaced people (IDPs).
Large areas of Marib are still witnessing fierce battles between the two warring rivals that are both pushing ahead to seize full control over the oil and gas resources located in the strategic Yemeni city.
During the past days, the Houthis succeeded in capturing key areas from the government's grip in Marib's southern and eastern areas, causing a large wave of internal displacement for hundreds of families.
Earlier in the day, a local military source told Xinhua that dozens of families are still stuck in the Abdiya district and found it impossible to move out as the Houthis seized large areas in the district following weeks of intense battles and shelling.
"The Houthis stormed a number of areas in Abdiya and the families are going through a tragic situation, as the rebels did not allow them to leave their residential houses and move to other safe areas outside the district," he explained anonymously.
Meanwhile, the government's executive unit for administrating IDPs camps in Marib reported that the escalating Houthi military operations against Marib caused new major obstacles to the already displaced families.
It said that nearly 640 families were forced to leave their temporary displacement camps located near the areas witnessing ferocious armed confrontations.
Official estimates released previously by the local government authorities indicated that nearly 2 million IDPs from various Yemeni regions were sheltered in the city of Marib.
An official of Marib's local government confirmed that "incessant battles and indiscriminate shelling aggravated the suffering of displaced families in Marib and multiplied their woes amid lack of basic living services."
Last week, Yemen's Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak stated that Houthi fighters prevented the delivery of medicines and food to Abdiya residents in Marib, as well as the evacuation of the wounded people, in a flagrant violation of all human rights standards and international humanitarian law norms.
He urged the United Nations and its specialized agencies operating in Yemen to intervene quickly to stop the siege imposed by the rebels on Marib's areas.
In the ongoing military operations in Abdiya district, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition stated during the past hours that nearly 160 Houthi rebels were killed and 11 military vehicles were destroyed.
Over the past 24 hours, the Saudi military coalition said it had carried out about 32 air raids targeting Houthi-held sites in Abdiya region.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched in February a major offensive on Marib in an attempt to seize control of the oil-rich province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.