The capture of the strategic oil-rich city of Marib would aid the Houthis' expansion to other provinces, marking a major blow to the coalition.

The rebels have intensified their efforts to capture Marib since September after a lull in their advance, which began in February.
The rebels have intensified their efforts to capture Marib since September after a lull in their advance, which began in February. (Reuters)

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's latest air strikes have killed another 60 Houthi rebels near Marib, the last government stronghold in the north.

Eight military vehicles were destroyed and the rebels killed in 11 operations over 24 hours to hunt down rebels, the coalition said in a statement on Wednesday carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It said the operations were carried out in Sirwah to the west of Marib and Al Jawf province to the north.

The coalition has reported high death tolls on a near daily basis by the coalition, amounting to over 3,000 deaths among the rebels since mid-October.

The Iran-backed Shia Houthis rarely comment on casualties, which cannot be independently verified by AFP.

A Yemeni military official said on Wednesday that 28 fighters from the pro-government Obaida tribe and seven government forces were killed in clashes with rebels south of Marib over the previous 24 hours.

A military official in the government told AFP last week that the Houthis have made advances in the south.

READ MORE: Will the Houthi push to usurp Marib imperil Yemen's conflict resolution?

Battle for Marib

Saudi Arabia intervened militarily in Yemen in 2015 to prop up the internationally recognised government after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa the year before.

The rebels have intensified their efforts to capture Marib since September after a lull in their advance, which began in February.

The capture of the strategic oil-rich city would aid the Houthis' expansion to other provinces, marking a major blow to the coalition.

Since the start of Yemen's conflict, tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have been killed, and millions displaced in what has been described by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia claims it has killed scores of Houthi fighters in raids

Source: AFP