The Houthi offensive in Marib is exacerbating Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, the US State Department said on Wednesday, adding the latest reports of children killed by Houthi attacks on the city demonstrate the dire threat to civilians.
“We strongly condemn the Houthi missile attack on a residential neighborhood in Mraib today that caused civilian casualties, including a child,” Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Yemen Cathy Westley said.
A Yemeni government official said Tuesday that Houthi rebels fired two missiles in the latest attack in the government-held city of Marib, killing at least three people, including a child.
The missiles landed in the Rawdha neighborhood in the crowded city, according to Ali Al-Ghulisi, the provincial governor’s press secretary.
At least 10 other people, including two children, were wounded in the attack, Al-Ghulisi said.
Tuesday’s missiles landed in the same residential neighborhood where a Houthi missile and explosive-laden drone attack hit a gas station earlier this month, killing at least 21 people, including a father and his 2-year-old daughter.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been attempting since February to capture Marib from the internationally recognized government, which would complete their control over the northern part of Yemen.
The US called on the Houthis to urgently accept a comprehensive, nationwide cease-fire and political talks.
“It is time to end the conflict in Yemen and provide relief to the Yemeni people,” Westley said in a statement, adding “the Houthis need to accept a cease-fire and engage in negotiations.”
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthis swept across much of the north and seized the capital, Sanaa, forcing the internationally recognized government into exile.