There appears to be a new twist to the US approach to the Yemeni war. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken called on the international community to hold the Houthi rebels to account over their current campaign in Marib. The announcement came via a statement on Twitter after Blinken met with the US Envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking.
Last Wednesday (21 April), the US Congress raised questions about the situation in Yemen including the recent and ongoing escalation in addition to Iran’s support for the Houthis.
“The international community must ask itself why the Houthis are seeking a military solution to the conflict with their assault on Marib, despite the tremendous humanitarian consequences.”
The coalition that supports the Yemeni government has intensified its airstrikes this week after the Houthis sent multiple reinforcements to the battlefield. Airstrikes have targeted multiple areas across Yemen but mainly concentrated on the capital Sana’a and the battlefield of Marib.
While the Houthi continue to send more fighters to Marib, several Yemeni officials have questioned the ability of the United Nations to stop the escalation. Local reports suggest that there are many casualties among the Houthis but their morale remains high. On the other hand reports suggest that the Yemeni government and forces loyal to it could not muster enough resources on the battlefield.
On a more positive note, the two sides exchanged several prisoners of war (POWs) under local mediation. Both sides expressed gratitude for the return of prisoners to their families although analysts claim that prisoner exchange in time of war is not effective as the returnees are likely to rejoin the battlefield.