The military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Saree, said that their forces took control of 5 districts in the Marib and Shabwa governorates, including the districts of Abdiya and Harib.
But the Yemeni army announced on Sunday that it had broken new Houthi attempts to storm the fronts in Marib, stressing the continuation of the battles. “The incursions made by the Houthis on the fronts of Abdiya and Harib in Ma’rib will not continue,” Yemeni army spokesman Brigadier General Abdo Majali said.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, he confirmed that the army had broken the Houthis’ attempts to penetrate some of the Ma’rib fronts, adding that “the battles are continuing.”
In the context, Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Anadolu Agency that the battles in the Abdiya district are still going on between hit and run, between the army forces backed by tribes and the Houthis.
Badi accused the Houthis of using ballistic missiles to strike villages and small cities in Abdiya, and endangering the lives of children, women and civilians. The Houthi group also prevented food and medicine from entering in an inhumane siege, according to the government spokesman.
During his meeting with the Russian ambassador to Yemen, Vladimir Didushkin, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sunday, Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said that the Houthi militia had committed crimes in Abdiya that amount to genocide, according to the official Yemeni news agency.
Arrests and displacement
And earlier, Yemeni sources said that the militants of the Houthi group had completed control of the entire district of Al-Abdiya, south of the strategic Marib governorate, after a complete siege that lasted about a month and violent battles with the tribesmen in it. The sources added that the Houthis are launching a massive arrest campaign in the district, and that several villages are witnessing a large wave of displacement.
Al-Abdiyyah District is located southwest of the city of Ma’rib, and is inhabited by 36,000 people. It acquires strategic importance due to its geographical location, which makes it one of the gates of Ma’rib Governorate, as well as its geographical link to the governorates of Al-Bayda and Shabwa from the west and south, through a wide mountain range.
Al-Abdiyyah represented a starting point for the government forces to move towards Al-Bayda governorate, to cut off the supply lines for the Houthis towards Shabwa governorate.
After their control of Abdiya, the Houthis are close to controlling the center of the Juba district, which is about 30 kilometers from the oil-rich city of Ma’rib. The city is the last stronghold of the legitimate government in the north of the country, as well as the stronghold of the National Army and the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.
For his part, the Director of the Executive Unit for the Administration of IDPs Camps in the Yemeni Governorate of Marib, Saif Muthanna, said that the Houthi military escalation has led to the displacement of 3,000 families from the districts located in the south of the governorate since the beginning of last month. Saif Muthanna confirmed in a press conference that hundreds of families are still stuck in the Abdiya district, which is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe in light of the Houthis’ continued siege.
Displacement in Aden
In another Yemeni context, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor accused the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council of committing violations and forced displacement of residents in Crater city, the temporary capital of Aden.
The observatory expressed its concern about the forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) carrying out forced displacement operations of the residents of Jabal al-Faris neighborhood in the city, and said that it had seen information that the forces of the Southern Transitional Council burned dozens of houses in the neighborhood, after displacing its residents by force of arms.