A Battle in Central Yemen Further Dims Hopes for Peace

MIN READMar 9, 2021 | 21:48 GMT

A Houthi fighter stands outside at a funeral for rebels killed in Marib, Yemen, on Feb. 28, 2021.

(Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images)

An ongoing battle in the heart of Yemen could become a major setback in U.S.-Saudi efforts to end the country’s civil war, should it leave the resource-rich city of Marib in Houthi hands. Talks reportedly took place in Oman between U.S. and Houthi officials on Feb. 26 as part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s renewed diplomatic push to facilitate a cease-fire in Yemen and ease the country’s humanitarian crisis, which includes 2 million refugees in the surrounding Marib province. But fighting has nonetheless continued apace in Marib, with Houthi rebels making unprecedented gains in its offensive -- stoking fears that President Mansoor Hadi’s Saudi-backed, internationally recognized government could soon lose control of the strategic central city for the first time in Yemen’s nearly seven-year-long civil war. ...

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