SANAA (Dispatches) –
Fighting raged between the Yemeni army and Saudi-backed mercenaries in the country’s oil-rich province of Marib in the past 24 hours, a military source said Sunday, adding government forces are reclaiming larger areas in the province.
The fighting took place across frontlines in Yemen’s western districts of Medghal, Sirwah, Jabal Murad and Rahabah.
Meanwhile, al-Masirah TV reported intensified clashes started in Ma’arib, affirming that the battle is continuing.
This was the first such large-scale attacks since the Yemeni army began in February a major offensive on Ma’arib to seize control of the oil-rich province.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the U.S. and its other regional allies, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
An all-out blockade was also imposed on Yemen since the onset of the bloody war, pushing Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, including by hampering access to aid.
The tight siege, among others, led to the closure of Sana’a International Airport, the largest and most important airport in Yemen, and closed the Hudaydah port, which acts as a lifeline for the impoverished nation.
The Saudi-led military aggression has left tens of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has revealed that three million Yemeni children are unable to enroll in education this year due to the ongoing Saudi-led war on the country.
Katharina Ritz, head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, posted on Twitter: “With the start of the school year in Yemen, let us not forget that the conflict has destroyed hundreds of schools and made nearly three million children unable to enroll in education this year. Yemeni children, like all children, need to go back to school.”
On 8 August, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that 8.1 million Yemeni children require emergency educational assistance. A week ago, the new school year started in Yemen amid extremely difficult living and health conditions.
A senior Yemeni medical official says the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced its plan to suspend medical flights to Sana’a International Airport due to the body’s financial problems.
The chairman of Yemen’s Supreme Medical Committee, Dr. Motahar al-Darwish, said on Saturday that the WHO has made the decision one year after the suspension of medical flights and the registration of thousands of incurable diseases, according to Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network.
He added that out of the 35,000 patients, whose names have been registered for UN air travel, some 10,000 were dead.