Nearly 15,000 Yemeni Houthi fighters have been killed near the strategic city of Marib since June, sources close to the rebels said Thursday, in a rare admission of their casualties during the seven-year war.
“The air strikes launched by the Saudi-led military coalition and the battles have killed nearly 14,700 Houthis since mid-June near Marib,” an official at the rebel-run defense ministry told AFP.
Another official from the same office confirmed the toll.
Marib city is the internationally-recognized government’s last major stronghold in Yemen’s oil-rich north.
The Iran-backed Houthis began a major push to seize the city last year.
The battle was halted multiple times due to negotiations, but the rebels renewed their attacks in February, there was a major assault in June, and a renewed push since September.
A Saudi-led coalition which intervened in 2015 to support the government has, since October 11, reported almost daily air strikes around Marib with a death toll, by their count, of around 3,800 rebels.
AFP cannot independently verify either side’s figures.