On Tuesday, a Yemeni military leader who had battled the Iran-backed Houthis for seven years was killed in Marib, a provincial capital, while local human rights organisations condemned the Houthis for firing missiles at the city.
Unidentified men shot dead Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Jaradi, an aide to Yemen’s defence minister, as well as his bodyguard, outside the city of Marib, local security officials and media reports said.
Al-Jaradi was a former commander of an army brigade in Marib. He led troops in battle against the Houthis in the city and narrowly escaped death during combat beyond Marib, as well as surviving an earlier attempt on his life. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing, but Houthi sleeper cells in Marib are thought to have been behind it.
Yemeni rights groups, activists and government officials immediately denounced the Houthis for carrying out a missile attack in Marib on Monday night, which killed four people and wounded five others.
The Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms accused the Houthis of sabotaging peace efforts and violating international treaties that protect civilians during wartime.
The Saudi-led coalition denounced the Houthi targeting of civilians and urged outside mediators to pressure the rebels to stop. The coalition said that the Houthis exploit international silence to continue their heinous crimes against Yemenis and to prevent peace and stability in the region.
Houthi rebels denied they fired missiles at Marib, as reported by the militia-controlled Saba news outlet. Instead, they claimed that their opponents blew up the facility.
The Houthis’ military push to capture Marib, a strategic city near the country’s energy reserves, has resulted in hundreds of civilian and military casualties since early 2017. In April, the UN-mediated ceasefire went into effect in Yemen, halting Houthi attempts to seize the city of Marib.