Yemen’s Ansar Allah are inching closer to Ma’rib city with each passing day.
As of October 28th, they’ve concluded the second part of their operation “Spring of Victory” and it was a roaring success, according to spokesman Brig. General Yahya Sari.
The Houthis (Ansar Allah) announced that the districts of al-Jubah and Jabal Murad in southern Ma’rib were both captured from Saudi-backed forces during the second phase of the operation.
Al-Jubah was taken by force, while the other changed sides following an agreement with the local tribes who ended their alliance with Riyadh.
The Saudi-led coalition carried out dozens of airstrikes on Houthis forces in al-Jubah and nearby areas over the last few days.
Nevertheless, the group’s fighters continued to advance. Saudi-backed forces didn’t show any real resistance despite the coalition’s heavy fire support.
As a result, 11 out of 14 districts in Ma’rib are in the hands of the Houthis.
Earlier this month, the group’s fighters reached the western outskirts of Ma’rib city. The fighters also made some serious gains in the southern part of Ma’rib and in the nearby province of Shabwah.
The first part of the operation was a huge success, according to the Houthi’s statements. It began around mid-October and resulted in the capture of 3,200 square kilometers of territory, including the districts of Usaylan, Bayhan and Ain in Shabwah as well as the districts of Harib and al-Abdiyah in Ma’rib.
The Ansar Allah spokesman also said that 550 Saudi-backed fighters were killed, 1,200 were wounded and 90 others were captured in the course of the operation.
The Houthi’s air-defense forces carried out 296 engagements and managed to shot down four drones of the Saudi-led coalition.
The missile force carried out 95 attacks on Saudi-backed forces in Yemen and 35 attacks on Saudi Arabia. From its side, the Houthi’s drone force carried out 161 attacks on Saudi targets within Yemen and 117 attacks on the Kingdom itself.
Some of the slain fighters were allegedly members of al-Qaeda and ISIS cells in Shabwah and Ma’rib, who received support from the Saudi-led coalition.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out more than 705 airstrikes on Shabwah and Ma’rib in order to stop the Houthis. The second part of the operation was subject to hundreds of more airstrikes.
The group’s main goal is the provincial capital and nearby oil fields. Following the most recent gains and the impetus that the Houthis received from it capturing Ma’rib is a very realistic goal that can be achieved in a relatively short timeframe.
It is likely that these Ansar Allah victories could prompt an outcry of an impending ‘humanitarian disaster’ and that a cessation of hostilities is immediately necessary, as all Houthi gains are accompanied by such calls.