Yemen.- Huthis launch offensive in Marib amid international efforts for peace process

File – Huthi militiamen in Yemen – Hani Al-Ansi/dpa

The Huthis have launched in recent hours a large-scale offensive against positions of forces loyal to the internationally recognized Yemeni government in Marib province (center), amid international efforts to launch a peace talks process and following the recent signing of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to normalize their diplomatic relations.

Sources quoted by the Yemeni news portal Mareb Press, the rebels have attacked Army positions with heavy weapons following a mobilization in the area over the past few weeks. The Giant Brigade, allied with government forces, is also involved in the fighting, with no official information on casualties for the moment.

The war in Yemen, triggered in 2015, pits the internationally recognized government, now represented by the Presidential Leadership Council and supported by the Saudi-led international coalition, against the Huthis, backed by Iran. The Huthis control the capital, Sana’a, and areas in the north and west of the country.

The recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the normalization of their bilateral relations, broken in 2016, has given a boost to international efforts to resolve the conflict and there have even been media reports that Tehran has agreed to stop giving weapons to the Huthis.