Saudi coalition says killed 85 rebels around Yemen’s Marib

RIYADH – The Saudi-led military coalition backing the government in Yemen said Tuesday it killed 85 Huthi rebels in air strikes during the last 24 hours near the strategic city of Marib.

The latest purported toll brings to roughly 1,800 the number of rebels that the coalition claims it has killed in strikes over the past two weeks around Marib.

The Iran-backed Huthis rarely comment on losses, and AFP could not independently verify the toll.

Marib, capital of the oil-rich province of the same name, is the internationally recognised government s last bastion in northern Yemen.

“Nine military vehicles were destroyed and 85” insurgents were killed in strikes in the past 24 hours in Al-Jawba, to the south of Marib, and Al-Kassara, northwest of the city, the coalition said, quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition says it has carried out heavy strikes around Marib in recent weeks.

In February, the Huthis began a major push to seize Marib, and have renewed their offensive since September after a lull.

Yemen s civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced, in what the United Nations has called the world s worst humanitarian crisis. (AFP)

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