In defiance of the international community, which has called upon warring parties to end the conflict in Yemen, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia launched attacks on Yemeni military installations in the Ma’rib and Al Jawf governorates in February 2021.
Government forces repulsed Houthi units that temporarily occupied three Yemeni military installations and thwarted a Houthi infiltration attempt through Al Kadra village, east of Sirwah district, killing several militants and capturing eight.
Three civilians were killed, and three others wounded by a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis in Ma’rib, the Yemeni Ministry of Defense said. The Saudi-led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen confirmed that another drone targeting civilian sites in southern Saudi Arabia was intercepted and destroyed.
“As the [U.S.] president is taking steps to end the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has endorsed a negotiated settlement, the United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks,” U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement in February 2021.
The February attacks were only the latest atrocities committed by the Houthis. Minutes after a plane carrying the new Yemeni government landed at Aden airport in December 2020, the Houthis attacked the airport with rockets, killing 26 people and wounding 110.
No government officials were hurt in the airport explosions, but journalists covering the event and citizens celebrating the new governing coalition were killed.
In a phone call with Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, then United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said that the fatal airport attack “potentially amounts to a war crime.” Griffiths has been a top negotiator in peace talks to end the country’s civil war.
To encourage peace talks brokered by the U.N., the Saudi-led coalition declared and observed a unilateral two-week cease-fire in the war in Yemen in April 2020, but Houthis refused to honor the proposal.
The U.S. and its partners support the efforts of the United Nations to end the devastating war that has been raging in Yemen since 2014, leaving nearly 233,000 dead and 80% of Yemenis dependent on humanitarian aid in what has been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Sources: al-Arabiya.net, BBC, The Wall Street Journal