SANAA, Yemen

A top Yemeni commander was killed Saturday in clashes with Houthi rebels in the eastern Marib province, a military source told Anadolu Agency.

“Major General Amin Al-Waeli was killed at the Kassara front in the province on Friday evening,” the source, who preferred not to be named said, adding that the commander was killed while on the battlefront northwest of Marib.

The Yemeni Ministry of Defense and the General Staff in a joint statement praised Al-Waeli for his legacy in “the building and development of the military institution” and for his military roles “confronting the Houthis in Saada, Amran, Marib and Al-Jawf” among other fronts.

Al-Waeli led the Sixth Military Region whose center is Al-Jawf province in northeastern Yemen.

In recent weeks, the Houthis have stepped up attacks to take control of Marib province, one of the most important strongholds of the legitimate government and is home to the headquarters of the Yemeni Defense Ministry.

On Feb.13, the Yemeni army launched a large-scale operation against the Houthi rebels on various fronts in Marib.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises with 233,000 people killed, nearly 80% or about 30 million needing humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starving to death, according to UN estimates.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.