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Military forces of the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen are advancing amid heavy fighting in the regions of Yemen that hold its oil and gas fields and assets, sources from the Houthi movement and the Yemen military told Reuters on Thursday.
The Houthis are pushing toward the city of Marib in the region of the same name currently under the control of the Saudi Arabia-backed Yemeni government. The region of Marib is home to the largest gas fields in Yemen and is the last northern stronghold of the government.
According to Reuters’ sources, the Houthis are also pushing to the south to the oil-rich region of Shabwah, which holds several oilfields in Yemen and the only terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the country.
The fighting between Houthi and government forces has been most fierce in the Shabwah region in recent days, the sources told Reuters.
Both sides are reported to have sustained many casualties.
The Houthi movement began its advance toward the region of Shabwah two months ago.
Fighting in Yemen has been ongoing for six years now after the Iran-affiliated Houthis overturned the elected president, which prompted Saudi Arabia—his ally—to wage war on the rebel group. In response, the Houthis have made Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities their preferred target of attacks.
Most of the country, which is suffering one of the worst humanitarian crises in history, is currently under the control of the Houthis, and the Saudi-backed forces are losing further ground. If the Houthis seize Marib, they will be in control of northern Yemen. Some from the elected Yemeni government blame these developments on the U.S. withdrawal from the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis.
Last week, Saudi Arabia said it had prevented yet another attack by the Yemeni Houthis in the city of Jazan, which is home to extensive Aramco oil infrastructure.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.