The pro-Houthi armed forces announced yesterday that the road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with Marib province has been opened to passengers and commercial goods, reports the Yemen Press Agency.
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.
Marib’s provincial capital, Marib city remains in the hands of pro-Saudi forces fighting on behalf of exiled, but internationally-recognised Yemeni President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Currently, the main road to Marib city is still off-limits due to continued armed hostilities.
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 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 Monday, in addition to attacks on military targets in Saudi Arabia, 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 but also coincided with the anniversary of the 1923 Tenomah massacre committed by Saudi forces against Yemeni pilgrims on their way to perform Hajj which resulted in 3,000 deaths.