On January 12, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) announced that their fighters had repelled a large-scale attack by Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces in the central Yemen provinces of Ma’rib and Shabwah.
In a brief statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari said that the UAE-backed Giant Brigades and their allies were pushed back in the district of Ain in Shabwah and the district of Harib in Ma’rib.
“The mercenaries and militants of the Emirates sustained heavy losses in lives and equipment, as dozens of them were killed or injured,” the spokesman said.
According to Brig. Gen. Sair, two ballistic missiles hit Saudi and UAE-backed forces in Ain and Harib. The successful strikes resulted in heavy losses.
The Giants Brigades entered the district of Harib in Ma’rib on January 11 after capturing the district centers of Usaylan, Bayhan and Ain in Shabwah. On January 12, the Giants’ fighters shot down a Qasef suicide drone of the Houthis over Harib. However, they didn’t report any advance in the district.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes have been actively supporting the Giants Brigades’ operations. Between January 11 and 12, at least 17 airstrikes targeted Ma’rib and 37 others targeted Shabwah. According to the coalition’s claims, the airstrikes killed 340 Houthi fighters and destroyed 36 military vehicles of the group.
The battle in Ma’rib and Shabwah appears to be heating up. The Houthis are finally showing some real resistance. Saudi and UAE-backed forces will not likely be able to advance in Ma’rib without paying a heavy cost.