Houthis Escalate Attacks in Yemen’s Marib, Lahj, Dhale, and Taiz Provinces
The Houthis have intensified their bombardment of villages in Yemen’s Marib, Lahj, Dhale, and Taiz provinces over the past 48 hours. In response, the Yemeni government has ordered the army to remain on high alert to repel Houthi attacks.
Houthi Attacks on Residential Areas
Local media reports and residents have confirmed that the Houthis have been discharging artillery shells at homes in the Malaa region of Marib’s central region. Images shared on social media show flames pouring from the targeted homes, although there are no confirmed reports of casualties. In Lahj province, the Houthis have shelled houses and farms in the Al-Dhafer districts, forcing residents to flee their homes. In Dhale province, a Houthi sniper shot and wounded an eight-year-old child, while residential areas and villages were also shelled.
Yemeni Government’s Response
The escalation of Houthi military operations and bombardment of residential areas, particularly in Lahj province, has prompted Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed to hold a meeting with the Ministry of Defense leadership, the commander of the 4th Military Region, and the governor of Lahj. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategies to counter the Houthi attacks while keeping the army on alert.
Humanitarian Crisis in Taiz
Meanwhile, the international Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has reported that three million residents of Taiz are suffering from a lack of basic amenities such as food and medication due to the Houthi siege of the city. The organization warns that these residents are in danger of being killed or injured by Houthi shelling of residential areas. The UN-brokered cease-fire has not halted the Houthi siege of Taiz, and the suffering of the people there continues.
The organization has condemned the Houthi siege of Taiz, stating that it is a form of collective punishment against civilians and may amount to a war crime under international laws. Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, has been under siege by the Houthis since 2015. Despite international mediators’ proposals and peace initiatives to open roads in Taiz, the Houthis have rejected all attempts.
Omani Delegation’s Efforts
In an attempt to persuade the Houthis to embrace international peace efforts, a group of Omani delegates arrived in Sanaa last week and held discussions with Houthi leaders. The Omani delegation discussed various issues, including the possibility of opening Sanaa airport to new destinations, paying public employees in militia-controlled areas, and extending the cease-fire for an extended period.
Houthi Demands and Yemeni Government’s Response
Since October, the Houthis have demanded that the Yemeni government pay public employees in their territories and split oil earnings for the truce to be renewed. However, the Yemeni government has stated that it will only pay government salaries if the Houthis remit state income from Hodeidah to the central bank.
The recent escalation of Houthi attacks in Yemen’s Marib, Lahj, Dhale, and Taiz provinces has resulted in increased suffering for civilians. The Yemeni government has ordered the army to remain on high alert to repel Houthi attacks. Additionally, the humanitarian crisis in Taiz continues to worsen as residents face a lack of basic amenities and are at risk of being killed or injured by Houthi shelling. Efforts by the Omani delegation to persuade the Houthis to embrace peace initiatives have not yet yielded significant results. The situation in Yemen remains critical, and international intervention is needed to bring an end to the conflict and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.