Coalition says killed at least 165 Yemen rebels near Marib

Riyadh (AFP) –


The Saudi-led military coalition supporting Yemen's government said Sunday it had killed at least 165 Huthi rebels in strikes south of Marib, as the battle for the strategic city rages.

The strikes "destroyed 10 military vehicles and killed more than 165" rebels in the past 24 hours in the Abdiya district, the coalition said in a statement cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition has said it has killed around 1,000 Iran-backed rebels in strikes in the area in the past week, making daily announcements of at least dozens of rebel deaths.

The Huthis rarely comment on losses and the tolls could not be independently verified by AFP.

The Huthis began a major push to seize Marib, the internationally recognised government's last bastion in oil-rich northern Yemen, in February, and have renewed their offensive in recent weeks after a lull.

The Huthis said on Twitter Sunday that they had taken control of several fronts around Marib, including Abdiya, which lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the city.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN this week called for a halt to fighting in Abdiya, where it said the movement of aid to tens of thousands of people had been "extremely restricted".