The fighting in Marib has left 32 dead among government forces and loyalist tribes, while 58 Houthi rebels have been killed in coalition air strikes, government military sources say.
UN humanitarian agency says the risk of large-scale famine in the Arab world’s poorest country “has never been more acute."
Saudi-led military coalition says Iran-allied Houthis launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones toward the province of Jizan, with a number of other drones being monitored.
Pro-government forces repelled the Houthi advances and reported heavy fighting that lasted "more than eight hours" in the Ablah region south of Marib city, a military source said.
The Houthis’ push to usurp the city in northern Yemen from the Hadi government risks jeopardising any chance of diplomatically resolving the country’s civil war.
The Iran-backed Houthi assault on Marib not only threatens the UN-backed government’s last line of defense but also risks a dire humanitarian crisis.
The Iran-backed militants earlier this month renewed their attacks on the oil-rich Marib province, a government stronghold that has served as a sort of haven for around one million Yemenis who have fled Houthi offensives since the start of the war.
Earlier this month, the Houthi rebels resumed an offensive to seize Marib city in an effort to gain leverage before entering into any negotiations with Yemen's internationally recognised government.
The Iran-backed Houthis have escalated attacks on the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, days after the United States moved to delist the rebels as terrorists and stepped up efforts to de-escalate the six-year conflict.
The attack comes a day after several drones attacked the Abha international airport in Saudi Arabia's southwest, prompting Washington to call for an end to Houthi aggression.
Saudi authorities did not immediately report any casualties from the attack, claimed by the Houthis, the latest in a series of rebel assaults on the kingdom despite a renewed American push to de-escalate Yemen's six-year conflict.
Dozens of people have been killed as fighting escalates in the oil-rich and strategic region east of capital Sanaa, government sources say.
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