In recent weeks, fighting has intensified around the city of Marib, the last government stronghold in northern Yemen that the rebels are trying to seize.
Last week, a Houthi leader, Muhammad Nasir al-Atifi, claimed that the city was “almost surrounded” by the rebels and that its capture was “only a matter of time”. The Iran-backed Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility.
The war in Yemen has been going on for more than six years. At the end of 2014, the Houthis occupied the capital, Sanaa, located 120 kilometers west of Marib, as well as much of the north and west of the country. Backed by a Sunni-dominated coalition, government forces control southern Yemen. The conflict in Yemen is often seen as a proxy war in which Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia fight for hegemony in the region.
The United Nations warns that the impact of war is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. According to various sources, the conflict consumed more than 130 thousand people. Up to 200 thousand victims, more than 3.5 million people were forced to leave their homes. The survival of more than three-quarters of the country’s population depends on international humanitarian aid.
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