Ma'rib Campaign

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Ma'rib campaign
Part of the Yemeni civil war (2015–present)
Ma'rib in Yemen.svg
Ma'rib Governorate
Date22 March 2015 – present
(4 years, 7 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)


  • Houthis control Serwah
  • Pro-Hadi forces recapture Ma'rib and the rest of the governorate

Yemen Revolutionary Committee/Supreme Political Council[1]

Yemen Cabinet of Yemen

Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

The Ma'rib campaign is a campaign for control of the Ma'rib Governorate of Yemen, between the Houthis and Yemen Army units loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh on one side, and militiamen and Yemen Army units loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi on the other side.



In September 2015, Saudi-backed Yemeni forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi engaged Houthi forces and successfully established control over the eastern and western regions of Marib province. They took territory in Sirwah and Hareeb including the Hailan mountain, Al Ateef, Al Makhdarah, and Al Masaryah hill.[6]

Mar'ib is of particular strategic importance in the conflict because it is a center for oil & gas production in Yemen; the powerplants of Mar'ib supply power to a significant part of the country and a gas pipeline passes south through Marib to the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The Safer Exploration and Production Operations Company and other foreign companies who work in the energy sector are based in Mar'ib. 45 Emirati soldiers, 10 Saudis and 5 Bahrainis were killed when a Houthi missile crashed into the coalition base at Safer in September 2015.[7]


The 2015 missile strike marked an escalation in the conflict. In the months that followed, coalition air strikes targeted more civilian sites than military targets. During the 18 month period, between 26 March 2015 and 2 August 2016 there were nearly 500 attacks in Mar'ib, which was located at the frontline of the battle between coalition and Houthi forces.[8] In 2016 the Yemen Data Project reported that Saudi air raids had hit a market in Sirwah twenty-four times.[9]

In October, Xinhua reported that Houthi forces had killed Major General Abdel Rab al-Shadadi, a high-level pro-government commander.[10] Several prominent Houthis, including militia leaders Hussain al-Mutawakel and Abu Jabar Ahmad al-Houthi, were captured by coalition forces. Coalition forces fought with Houthis for control over the route that runs from Yemen's capital Sanaa through Sirwah to Mar'ib.[11]


US drone strikes were reported in early 2017 after the election of President Donald Trump. This marked the first U.S. engagement in Yemen since the failed Yakla raid.[12] In November 2017 the New York Times reported that Mar'ib was "an island of relative calm".[13]



  1. ^ Orkaby, Asher (22 March 2015). "Houthi Who?". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen". The New York Times. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  3. ^ Felicia Schwartz, Hakim Almasmari and Asa Fitch (26 March 2015). "Saudi Arabia Launches Military Operations in Yemen". WSJ.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Pakistan ready for ground offensive in Yemen: report". the globe and mail. 26 March 2015. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia launches airstrikes in Yemen". CNN. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Yemen forces tighten siege on Marib". The National. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  7. ^ "Why Marib province is crucial to coalition victory in Yemen". The National. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  8. ^ Torpey, Paul; Gutiérrez, Pablo; Swann, Glenn; Levett, Cath. "What is happening in Yemen and how Saudi Arabia's airstrikes are affecting civilians - explainer". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  9. ^ MacAskill, Ewen; Torpey, Paul (2016-09-16). "One in three Saudi air raids on Yemen hit civilian sites, data shows". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  10. ^ "Yemen's top pro-government military commander killed - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  11. ^ "Capturing Houthis in Marib latest setback for militias". Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  12. ^ "PressTV-US drone strike kills five in Yemen's Ma'rib". Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  13. ^ Hubbard, Ben (2017-11-09). "As Yemen Crumbles, One Town Is an Island of Relative Calm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-07.