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The Yemeni army, supported by the Arab Alliance, repulsed a major offensive by the Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia in the energy-rich area of Marib. Image Credit: Courtesy: Yemen armed forces media centre

Cairo: The Yemeni army, supported by the Arab Alliance, repulsed a major offensive by the Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia in the energy-rich area of Marib, inflicting heavy casualties on the rebels, according to a government military source.

Last February, Al Houthis initiated large-scale onslaught to seize Marib, the last area still under the Yemeni government’s control in the country’s north.

The government forces and resistance fighters pushed back yet another rebel offensive on Saturday on frontlines in western Marib, the source added.

At least 45 Al Houthi fighters, including field commanders, were killed and other dozens injured in the fierce battle, the source said.

Military hardware

The Saudi-led Arab Alliance, meanwhile, mounted a series of airstrikes against the rebels, destroying their military hardware and causing casualties among Al Houthis.

Last month, Saudi Arabia launched a peace initiative for Yemen, proposing a UN-overseen nationwide ceasefire in the country, the reopening of Sana’a airport in the Al Houthi-held capital, and restarting negotiations between the Saudi-backed government and the rebels. The Yemeni government welcomed the initiative while the rebels rejected it.

Al Houthis plunged Yemen into war after they toppled the internationally recognised government and seized parts of the impoverished country, including Sana’a in late 2014.