On March 7th, Yemen’s Houthis, once again, began attempting to capture the Marib Dam.
It was the day that featured some of the most intense attacks by the Houthis in recent months, or even years.
It also had some of the most significant airstrike activity by Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis, or as they are known by their official name, focused the impetus of their attacks on the Marib Dam, as well as to the south of the town of Asdas.
The Houthis targeted several areas including Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia with 14 drones and 10 ballistic missiles, according to Yemeni Armed forces spokesman, Yahya al-Sari’.
This came as the highest point of an escalation in air activity and attacks on various locations in southern and eastern Saudi Arabia that began on March 2nd.
There were daily air attacks, via Sammad-3 drones, Qasef 2K drones and Zolfaghar missiles.
Saudi Arabia released videos showing drone and missile interceptions, but not as many as the Houthis said they have launched. The Houthis dubbed their own operations a success.
On March 8th, Ansar Allah continued their series of missile and drone strikes on targets in Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis claimed that they have successfully hit the ‘vital military’ target in the area of Abha International Airport with an undisclosed ‘modern missile.’
#Saudi-led Coalition releases footage of yesterday’s airstrikes that targeted the Iranian-backed #Houthis ballistic missiles & drones storage and assembly workshops in #Sanaa. Notice the secondary explosions. pic.twitter.com/dSoEW0CgJx
— محمد بن خالد (@MbKS15) March 8, 2021
Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry spokesman claimed that Iran was smuggling missiles and drones to the Houthi movement.
In response, the Kingdom has ramped up its airstrike activity.
Notably, heavy airstrikes were carried out on the Yemeni capital of Sana’a which is a rare occurrence.
Civilians are being harmed, and Saudi Arabia is back to its old conduct of indiscriminately striking any target. The Saudi-led coalition carried out at least 5 airstrikes on Sana’a.
On every day between March 2nd and 8th, the Saudi Arabian air force carries at least 15 airstrikes on various Ansar Allah positions and cities under Houthi control.
Still, the Houthis continue their attacks undeterred, and it appears that they are having significant success in them.
Notably, if Marib city and Marib dam fall, this will allow for even more aggressive operations to be carried out by the Houthis. Marib is the last Saudi-led coalition stronghold in central Yemen, a relatively calm region.
Capturing it would be a massive strategic boon to the Ansar Allah side and its future movements.
This Ansar Allah success is mostly evidenced by calls by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to halt their offensive, in addition to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. If calls of a humanitarian disaster begin, and calls for fighting to stop, it means that the Houthis are having success in their operations.
Blinken pledged the humanitarian assistance at a virtual donors’ conference co-hosted by Sweden and Switzerland, which aims to raise $3.85 billion to prevent large-scale famine engulfing the country.
But he warned that the suffering would not stop until a political solution is found between the Houthis and the internationally recognised government which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition.
“Aid alone will not end the conflict. We can only end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by ending the war… so the United States is reinvigorating our diplomatic efforts to end the war,” he said.
Blinken called on the Houthis to cease the cross-border attacks and military offensives that he said had prolonged the war.
Saudi Arabia’s intervention and continue striking of civilians is an entirely separate matter that is only mentioned when Riyadh isn’t considered as “winning” the war.
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