On December 15, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) opened a new front against Saudi-backed forces in the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib.
The group’s fighters began advancing towards Safer oil and gas fields as well as the nearby refinery, which is located some 50 kilometers to the east of Ma’rib city.
By December 16, the Houthis managed to secure several positions in the areas al-Butr, al-Jardah and al-Isnad. Houthis fighters advanced despite the Saudi-led coalition’s intense bombardment on all frontlines in Ma’rib.
S. #Marib: #Ansarallah advanced N.E. Jabal Balaq al Sharqi & reached Al-Butr area. Clashes with #YNA continues W. Jabal Balaq al sharqi as #Ansarallah tries to reach Akad area.
Map: [ https://t.co/8iWPP91xkn ] pic.twitter.com/siCXKC5imx
— @Suriyak (@Suriyakmaps) December 16, 2021
Between December 16 and 17, Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out more than 29 airstrikes on Houthis forces in Ma’rib as well as in the northern province of al-Jawf. According to the coalition’s claims, the airstrikes killed 180 fighters of the Houthis and destroyed 20 military vehicles of the group.
Last week, the Houthis resumed their advance towards Ma’rib after a temporary halt. The group captured the Bulq al-Sharqi mountain which overlooks the southern outskirts of the city.
Ma’rib city is not the only target of the Houthis’ large-scale offensive in the province, which was launched more than nine months ago. The group also wants to capture the oil and gas fields of Safer, Raja, Halewah and Nasr.