Mittwoch, 21.04.2021 / 12:27 Uhr

Neue Houthi-Offensive auf Marib

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken
Houthi Milizionäre; Bildquelle: Wikimedia Commons


Selten schafft es noch ein Journalist, von der Fron im Jemen zu berichten. Umso eindrücklicher ist diese Reportage der AFP über die jüngste Offensive der vom Iran unterstützten Houthis auf Marib, die letzte noch im Norden von so genannten Regierungstruppen gehaltene Stadt. Sollte sie fallen, würden erneut Hunderttausende zur Flucht gezwungen:

Loyalist commanders say the rebels are sending wave after wave of fighters towards frontlines around Marib city, the regional capital, from seemingly inexhaustible reserves.

"The Huthi strategy is... aimed at exhausting (us)," a Yemeni commander told AFP at the sand-swept Al-Kanais battlefront in the north of the city, where loyalist soldiers crouched in sandbag-ringed foxholes and heavy machine guns were loaded on the rear of pickup trucks.

In a pattern emerging across multiple frontlines, the commander said the Huthis are pushing zealous waves of young recruits, many of them children, with the goal of wearing out loyalist forces and depleting their ammunition.

Hours-long gun battles are typically followed by a brief lull to collect the dead bodies. (...)

"The Huthis don't care how many of their men die," he added, a point echoed by other Yemeni officials, including Marib's governor Sultan al-Aradah. (...)

Marib is already paying a huge price since the Huthis, who set their sights on taking the area last year, relaunched their offensive in February on the back of large reinforcements. (...)

Marib is home to hundreds of thousands of civilians already uprooted by Yemen's ongoing conflict -- and they face the prospect of being displaced again in a country with fewer and fewer safe havens.