A flare-up of fighting in central Yemen is testing 10 months of relative calm in an eight-year war between Iran-aligned Houti rebels and forces of the internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
The flare-up of violence comes as an agreement earlier this month between Tehran and Riyadh to restore diplomatic ties has raised hopes that the two regional rivals could pressure their Yemeni allies to launch talks to end the conflict.
Renewed fighting started late on March 21 when Shia Houthi rebels moved on the city of Harib, sources told Reuters and The Associated Press news agencies. The battle continued through March 22.
At least 16 forces were reportedly killed and another 20 wounded, officials said, adding that the battle forced many families to leave their homes hours before the start of the holy month of Ramadan on March 23.
The oil-rich province of Marib is the last stronghold in northern Yemen of the internationally recognized government. It had been the main frontline before a UN-brokered truce was first agreed in April 2022. The truce deal lapsed in October but largely held.
Yemen has been mired in violence since the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen in 2014, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene.
The conflict, widely seen as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, has killed tens of thousands of people, wrecked Yemen's economy and pushed millions into hunger.