Will Yemen's Houthis move on Marib oil fields as Gaza war diverts world's attention?


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Kate Dourian

Non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute


Nov. 22, 2023

Bottom Line:

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have inserted themselves into the Israeli-Hamas war, a development that threatens the shaky truce that has held since April 2022. Missiles and drones fired by the Houthis supposedly in Israel’s direction could be the opening salvo in an effort by the Houthis to take advantage of Saudi Arabia’s preoccupation with the situation in Gaza to try to make a move on the Marib oil fields. The Iran-backed Houthis tried and failed repeatedly to capture the city of Marib since before the Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in 2015 to support the Yemeni government. But there have been signs in recent days that they might be limbering up for a renewed assault on Marib, which lies in the area controlled by the internationally recognized government. Should they succeed, it would provide the Houthis with an economic base that they do not now enjoy and might lead to a breakup of the country along north-south lines. 

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