Escalation of fighting displaces 400 families in Yemen's Marib in 3 days: gov't source

Source: Xinhua| 2021-02-11 21:29:57|Editor: huaxia

ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Escalation of fighting between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels has displaced nearly 400 families in the northeastern oil-rich province of Marib, a government official said Thursday.

"During the past three days around 400 families left their villages and residential houses due to the nonstop intense battles in the province," the official of Marib's local authority told Xinhua.

The displaced families left the district of Sirwah amid the exchange of indiscriminate artillery shelling between the two warring rivals, the source said on condition of anonymity.

"Many families are now threatened by a second displacement wave and they are seeking to flee again to find other safe areas away from fighting," the source warned.

On Wednesday, two indiscriminate shells landed on a displacement camp housing about 225 families in Marib, causing no casualties.

Yemeni officials in charge of the internally displacement camps in the government-controlled province of Marib urged the international humanitarian organizations to pressure the Houthis to stop targeting the displaced people.

The Iran-allied Houthi rebels stepped up their military operations and launched an large offensive to seize the province of Marib controlled by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

The Houthis' military escalation followed Washington's indication of removing the group from the terrorist list, which will reverse the decision by the previous U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi's government.

The war in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million others, and pushed the country to the brink of famine. Enditem