Hundreds of Yemenis trapped in rubble after Houthi missile attacks

Hundreds of Yemenis trapped in rubble after Houthi missile attacks

People browse through the rubble of a house destroyed by Houthi missile attacks in Marib, Yemen, October 3, 2021. REUTERS Ali Owidha:

DUBAI, Oct 14 Reuters : Hundreds of Yemenis are trapped by fierce fighting between government forces and Houthi forces in the northern Marib governorate, residents and a local official said, after battles for control of the gas-rich region displaced some 10,000 people last month.

On Tuesday, the internationally recognised government backed by a Saudi coalition declared southern Yemen a military zone after gains made there by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which has also advanced in the Shabwa region in South Marib. The U.N. report posted on Wednesday cited unconfirmed initial information that six civilians were killed in Yemen last month in Shabwa, which has oil fields and Yemen's sole liquefied natural gas terminal. It said nine civilians have died in south marib in September and October.

Marib is the last stronghold of the government that was expelled from Sanaa in late 2014 by the Houthis from the capital Temah, prompting the coalition to intervene months later, only to be mired in years of military stalemate.

The U.N. - led efforts to engineer a ceasefire have stalled as Saudi Arabia and the Houthis both resist compromise to end more than six years of a war that has caused what the United Nations calls the largest humanitarian crisis in the world's history.

The United Nations said nearly 10,000 people were displaced in Rahabah one month alone with over 4,200 fleeing the southern districts of Harib, Al-Jubah and Marib Governorate.

A fourth district, al Abdiyah, has been under siege since Sept. 23 impeding the movement of civilians and impeding humanitarian aid flows, including medical supplies, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA Houthi forces have held positions 18 km 10 miles west of Marib and are trying to advance elsewhere to encircle the city, which hosts hundreds of thousands internally displaced people.

The conflict, seen in the Middle East as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has left tens of thousands of people without any humanitarian assistance and killed 80% of Yemen's population.