On July 13th, Saudi Arabia’s forces withdrew the US-made Patriot air defense battery from the Yemeni province of Marib.
The sources affirmed that the Saudi Arabia completed a process for withdrawing the Patriot battery and all heavy weapons from al-Rawaik and Tadawin camps in the province and transported them to Hadramout governorate.
Reportedly, the tribes that are on the side of the Saudi-led coalition and the Yemeni puppet government described the withdrawal as a “great treason” to them.
On July 15th, the Yemen Press Agency reported that the Houthis, fighting against the Saudi-led intervention opened the road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with Marib province for passengers and commercial goods.
According to sources, the move is intended to enable civilian travel to and from the northern provinces of Sanaa, Marib and Jawf in addition to other regions further east.
The road has been closed for 5 years, since the intervention by Saudi Arabia and the UAE began.
Marib reportedly is under the control of the Saudi-led coalition still, but that is a temporary situation, as evidenced by the removal of the Patriot system and other weapons.
According to the Houthi-aligned Commander of Military Intelligence, Abu Ali Al-Hakim, the fall of Marib city is “a matter of time”, affirming that the army forces are prepared to make a decision in the event that tribal mediation attempts with Yemeni President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi loyalists fails.
The joint army and Houthi forces are making a gradual advance in the province from three positions despite air support from the Saudis. Yesterday the Saudi Press Agency, citing coalition spokesperson Turki Al-Malki, said that Houthi forces fired ballistic missiles onto Marib city over “civilians and residential areas”.
On July 13th, the Houthi-allied military spokesperson Yahya Saree claimed that the Tadween military base in Marib was targeted during a meeting of Saudi military commanders and mercenaries, killing and injuring dozens.
Saree said the operation was in response to continued coalition aggression and on-going blockade.
On July 14th, a densely populated residential area of Marib was allegedly hit by one of the Houthi missile strikes on, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said.
The Defence Ministry linked the increase in Houthi missile attacks on Marib to setbacks the Houthis had suffered on the frontlines in northern Yemen.
Yemen Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said that the shelling of residential areas is a violation of international laws.
“The Houthi terrorist militia continues to deliberately target civilians and residential areas in Marib with an Iranian-made ballistic missile that hit, on Tuesday evening, civilians … in a flagrant violation of international laws,” the minister wrote on Twitter.
Despite any claims, the fact of the matter is that the Saudi-led coalition is on the back foot and it is a matter of time until the Houthis push them even further back.
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