Fighters loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government man a position near Al Jawba frontline, facing Iran-backed Al Houthi militants, in the country's northeastern province of Marib on October 30, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

Riyadh: The Saudi-led Arab military coalition in Yemen said on Sunday that more than 218 Al Houthi militants were killed in air strikes around Marib city, the internationally recognised government’s last northern bastion.

The Iran-backed Al Houthis rarely comment on losses, and AFP could not independently verify the toll.

“Twenty-four military vehicles were destroyed and more than 218” insurgents were killed in strikes in the past 72 hours in two districts, according to the official Saudi Press Agency, which has since October 11 issued near-daily reports of bombing around Marib, capital of the oil-rich province of the same name.

Since then the coalition - which has been fighting in Yemen to support the government for almost seven years - says it has killed around 2,200 insurgents in the Marib area.

The latest bombing was carried out in Al Jawba, about 50km south of Marib, and Al Kassara, 30km to the northwest.

The Al Houthis began a major push to seize Marib in February and, after a lull, renewed their offensive since September.

The Yemeni civil war began in 2014 when the Al Houthis seized the capital Sana’a, 120km west of Marib, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the government the following year.

Tens of thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.