SANAA (Dispatches) – Fighting escalated between Yemen’s army and Saudi-backed mercenaries and militants on Monday in the country’s central province of Ma’arib, as the army moves forward to reclaim the oil-rich strategic region.
The battles took place in three frontlines of Al-Kasarah, Mashjah and Al-Zour in the eastern edges of the western district of Sirwah, about 20 kilometers west of the province’s central city, also called Marib.
The army intensified ground attacks in the three frontlines, aiming to advance into strategic hilltops overlooking Ma’arib city.
Both warring sides use missiles, artillery and tanks in the battles.
Ma’rib that is wedged right in the middle of a whole host of other Yemeni provinces, has turned into a focus of the forces’ liberation operations for many months now.
The province’s recapture, towards which many advancements have been made so far, is expected to pave the way for further military victories for Yemen’s defenders.
Observers say Yemen’s army has made remarkable advances against the Saudi-backed forces, meaning that Saudi Arabia is up to lose its last stronghold in the oil-rich region.
Meanwhile, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council says the leaders of the war coalition against Yemen plunder more than 85 percent of the country’s oil and gas revenues.
Mahdi al-Mashat made the remarks in a meeting with Yemeni Prime Minister Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour in Sana’a on Sunday, according to Yemen’s al-Masirah media network.
Mashat said the war coalition countries, led by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, are seeking to increase the suffering of the Yemeni citizens through their suffocating siege, seizure of ships containing fuel, food and pharmaceuticals as well as their economic war.
He maintained that the U.S. aims to raise the prices of fuel by its acts of piracy and arbitrary measures.
The U.S. wants to weaken Yemen’s national currency in the context of the economic war targeting all Yemenis, he added.
Through such measures, Mashat said, the war coalition is seeking to bring the Yemeni people, who reject the occupation of their land and the policies of impoverishment being practiced on them, to their knees.