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2 February 2020 Tension rises in Yemen after Houthis’ attack on a mosque in Marib

The conflict between the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on the one hand, and Houthi rebels, on the other, has exacerbated after the Houthis attacked a mosque in a military base in the governorate of Marib, killing at least 100 Yemeni soldiers. Despite Saudi air support for the internationally-recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Houthis are making significant gains over government-held areas. The rebels have in fact captured the district of Nehm and a strategic road, which links Marib with Jawf. Both parties in the war have received for the killing of civilians and human rights abuses. On 2 February, Peter Sano, the Spokesperson of the European Action External Service, released a statement calling for a de-escalation of the renewed violence in Yemen. The UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) have arranged medical flights from Sanaa’s airport, which has been closed since 2016, for patients in need of medical attention unavailable in Yemen. The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, declared that he is “deeply alarmed by the latest round of violence in Yemen which resulted in the death of many innocent civilians”, and reiterated his call for de-escalation.