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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Arab Coalition intercepts five Houthi missiles fired at Marib, Yemen

The missiles were aimed at Yemeni army troops stationed in the province, which lies north-east of the capital, Sanaa

Saudi soldiers stand guard as a Saudi air force cargo plane, carrying aid, lands at an airfield in Yemen's central province of Marib. Abdullah Al Qadry/ AFP Photo
Saudi soldiers stand guard as a Saudi air force cargo plane, carrying aid, lands at an airfield in Yemen's central province of Marib. Abdullah Al Qadry/ AFP Photo

Houthi forces fired five missiles at pro-government troop positions near the city of Marib on Friday but the projectiles were intercepted by the air defence network operated by the Arab Coalition.

The Houthi missile barrage was fired from Sanaa and aimed at Yemeni army troops.

The targeted troops are stationed in Marib province, which lies 173 kilometres to the north-east of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital that is held by the Houthi militia, Khaled Al Karni, a journalist working for the Yemeni army, told The National.

Five missiles were fired from Sana'a towards Marib but they were intercepted by the Arab Coalition air defence and no casualties or any harms were reported, Mr Al Karni said.

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The missiles were fired after the Yemeni forces, backed by the Arab Coalition, pushed back an offensive by the Houthi militia on Friday.

The aim had been to re-control military sites in Serwah area in Marib province that were liberated by the army troops last week.

However, the Houthi offensive failed as army forces repelled the militants who tried to break into the area.

In Taez province in the southern region of Yemen, fierce clashes were renewed on Thursday between the Yemeni army and the Houthi militia. In Mawza district to the west of Taez province, fighters from the Houthi militia tried to break into the mountainous chain to the east of Al Hamily area between Taez and Al Hodiedah, military sources in the Yemeni army in Taez said.

The clashes stretched to Resyan valley, which is located near to Al Hamily area. It was there that the Yemeni army troops repelled the Houthi attack, killing four of the group's fighters and destroying a military vehicle and B10 artillery, the military source added.

Marib is now Yemen's most thriving industrial hub, thanks in part to an influx of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, among them entrepreneurs, doctors and Yemen's elite that is driving up investments and real estate prices. The population has swelled from a pre-conflict 350,000 to as high as 1.5 million.

Houthi rebels besieged Marib for months in 2015 after they captured Sanaa but they were pushed back in fierce clashes with local tribesmen aided by the Saudi-led coalition, of which the UAE is a member.

Arada, one of the region's most influential tribal leaders, rallied fellow elders to pledge loyalty to the Hadi government — even those who traditionally supported the Houthis.

The city faces the constant threat of Houthi rockets, hundreds of which have been launched towards the city.

Despite the threat, hundreds of new businesses have come up, ranging from eateries to water bottling plants.