At least 24 Houthi rebels were killed in multiple airstrikes launched by Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen’s Marib province, a government military source said.

“Twenty-four rebels were killed and nine weapon-mounted vehicles were destroyed in the coalition airstrikes on the rebel positions and reinforcements in Al-Mashjah frontline,” the source told Xinhua news agency on Thursday.

“The airstrikes were a response to the rebel ground attack on the positions of the (Yemeni) government forces on the frontline,” he added.

The Al-Mashjah frontline, which is located in the eastern part of the western Sirwah district, is about 20 km west of camps for internally displaced people in the government-held Marib.

The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported 18 Saudi-led airstrikes in the Sirwah district without providing more details.

Last week, the Houthis seized control of Rahabah district in Marib.

The Houthi militia launched in February a major offensive on Marib in an attempt to seize control of the oil-rich province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

The UN has warned that the offensive on Marib, which hosts nearly 1 million internally displaced people, could lead to a major humanitarian catastrophe.

Yemen’s civil war flared up in late 2014 when the Houthi group seized control of much of the country’s north and forced the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in March 2015 to support Hadi’s government.

–IANS

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