The Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, received a new blow and defeat in Yemen, through Yemeni tribes declaring their defection from it and supporting the Ansar Allah group “the Houthis”.
Yemeni media reported that the Houthis are preparing to announce control of the city of Ma’rib, northeast of the capital, Sana’a, after they seized ten directorates in the governorate out of 14.
It also revealed that the Houthi advance came after some tribes in the region announced that they had reached an agreement with the Yemeni forces of the Houthis, which caused a major blow to the Saudi-led coalition. The tribes of Ma’rib owed allegiance to Riyadh, until the past weeks.
Sources revealed that the Houthis had taken control of the strategic Al-Sadara area, the important crossing point towards the city of Al-Juba, as well as the Al-Kula region, the last areas of the Rahba district. Violent clashes were also taking place between the militias, backed by a large number of tribes, and the legitimate government forces.
Tribal sources reported that four tribes from Rahba District, in Ma’rib, namely (Al Abu Asha, Al Masli, Al Jinnah, and Al-Salahi family) signed an agreement with Houthi military leaders in Sanaa, last Saturday, to spare their areas fighting.
There are still tribal mediators affiliated with the Houthis trying to win over tribal leaders in the city of Al-Jawba and among the Murad tribe in order to reach similar agreements, according to what was reported by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is loyal to Hezbollah and supports the Houthis.
These tribes were the most loyal to the Arab coalition and Saudi Arabia, until recently, which causes a moral blow to Riyadh and the Yemeni forces, according to observers.
In parallel, the confrontations intensified during the past two days between the Houthis and “Hadi” forces, on the Al-Alam and Sabigh fronts in the north of the Safer oil region and south of the Wadi Ubaida district.
A week ago, the Houthis threatened to invade Marib Governorate, within a short period.
At the end of last August, the British ambassador to Yemen, Michael Aaron, revealed that the Houthi group had rejected an offer by the Arab coalition for a ceasefire in the country.
The Marib Governorate is witnessing fighting, which has intensified in the past weeks, amid continuous attempts by the Houthis to advance towards the governorate center, which hosts the headquarters of the Yemeni Ministry of Defense.
For the sixth year, Yemen is witnessing a war between government forces and the Houthis, who are accused of receiving Iranian support, and who have control of governorates, including the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.
Since March 2015, an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been supporting government forces to confront the Houthis, in a war that has left the worst severe humanitarian crisis in the world, according to a previous description of the United Nations.