Analysts believed that Houthis, who have been trying to establish its stronghold over Marib since last year, wanted to capture it because of its rich energy reserves and strategic location. With Marib in their control, they would have gained an upper hand over the Yemeni government in cease-fire agreement and peace talks negotiations for diplomatic resolution.
The Yemeni militant group has a history of not only committing various war crimes and human rights abuses against Yemeni men, women and children but also seizing the UN relief aid and funds meant for the country’s civilian population dying of hunger and poverty. As per the reports published last year, about 70 per cent of Yemen’s 30 million people resided in Houthi-controlled territory, with the number of people in dire need of aid estimated to be about 24 million in 2020.
Houthi’s, well aware of their hold over aid supply chain, even arm twisted UN and international humanitarian agencies to avail a significant portion of humanitarian relief fund, issued originally for beneficiaries in areas under their control. In a trade off with relief groups, Houthi authorities issued visas, security clearances and allowed monitoring of operations, in exchange for funds and relief aid, which it used to strengthen its base. Yemeni government condemned that the aid was not reaching the ones it was intended for.