“Iran-backed Houthi rebels put up heavy resistance”

In Yemen’s Marib province, a key battleground in the fighting against Shiite rebels, frustration is growing in the ranks of troops backing the country’s president-in-exile after more than a week without gains on the ground. The pro-government forces’ advance on the capital, Sanaa, has stalled as Iran-backed Houthi rebels put up heavy resistance and despite an airstrikes’ campaign by a Saudi-led coalition that has relentlessly pounded rebel positions. The difficulty highlights the stark challenges facing the diverse set of fighters that make up the pro-government forces as they set their goal on Sanaa, about 165 kilometers (103 miles) to the west of Marib. Ground commanders from the Yemeni army complain of poor logistical coordination, along with slow communication and decision-making between the Marib front-lines and the military leadership in Riyadh. Troops have grown nervous, commanders say, after two incidents when Saudi-led airstrikes hit and killed allied fighters”.

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