A Saudi-led coalition is pounding Yemen’s Shiite rebels on the outskirts of the city of Marib in its push to retake the capital, Sanaa.
The dull thud of artillery fire rumbles across the city Thursday but its residents, many armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, appear unperturbed by the nearby fighting.
Marib is the capital of the largely desert province of the same name. Authorities say the coalition is targeting Houthi rebel positions near the key Marib dam and the town of Sirwah, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west on the road to Sanaa.
The provincial capital itself is under control of loyalists to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is supported by Saudi Arabia. Deputy governor Abdo Rab Ali says 80 percent of the province is controlled by pro-Hadi forces while the Houthis control 20 percent.