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US Yemen envoy Lenderking arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks as battles intensify

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking (file photo)

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking has traveled to Saudi Arabia for talks with officials in Riyadh, as the Ansarullah movement makes more gains in the defense campaign against the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors and its allied mercenaries.

The diplomat touched down in the kingdom on Tuesday for talks with Saudi officials and members of Yemen’s former Riyadh allied government to boost work towards a peace deal with the Ansarullah movement, the State Department said.

Lenderking will discuss “growing consequences” of raging battles in Yemen’s oil- and gas-rich central province of Ma’rib and what was described as an “urgent need” for Riyadh and the Saudi-backed government to facilitate fuel imports to northern Yemen.

Deputy US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was in Oman on Tuesday for talks with her counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy, on bringing about an “immediate, comprehensive ceasefire” in Yemen, another statement from the US government said.

The Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s Ansarullah movement have been at odds over a United Nations-led proposal for a nationwide truce and the lifting of a coalition blockade to ease a dire humanitarian crisis.

Fighting has intensified in Yemen’s Ma’rib province, as Yemeni army troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees continue to win ground in battles against Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.

Yemeni armed forces have also made gains in recent days in al-Bayda Province as they try to advance towards the southern oil-producing Shabwah region.

On Tuesday, Saudi-led coalition forces carried out at least 17 airstrikes against various regions across Ma’rib province.

A Yemeni security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Yemen’s official Saba news agency that the warplanes targeted Nata’ district on three raids, causing damage to public properties.

There were no immediate reports about possible casualties as a result of the air raids.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The Saudi war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. The war has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the Arab country.


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