Yemen’s Defense Minister Survives Houthi Attack in Marib, 2 Soldiers Killed

Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed al-Maqdashi survived on Tuesday an attack by Houthi militias on his convoy in Marib province that left two soldiers, including his personal driver, dead.

Yemeni official military sources said that Maqdashi’s convoy was attacked following a meeting he held with military commanders at a complex of buildings used as the ministry’s interim headquarters in Marib.

The sources said the minister’s adviser, General Mansour Thawabah, was injured and transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

On Tuesday, there were conflicting reports on the source of the explosion that targeted Maqdashi’s convoy.

Local sources said the attack was caused by a Houthi rocket or an explosive device.

However, Col. Yehya Abu Hatim, an adviser to Maqdashi, said the minister survived a Houthi drone attack.

He confirmed that the minister and officers who were taking part in the meeting were not harmed in the attack carried out by the Iran-backed rebels.

“We reassure everyone that the desperate Houthi attempt to target the defense ministry’s commanders has failed,” Abu Hatim wrote on his Twitter account.

Military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that the minister’s driver, Capt. Bashir Al Marhabi and another soldier identified as Abdul-latif Jaafar were killed when the minister’s convoy was hit.

Houthi rebels did not immediately comment on the attack. However, the militias have in the past years carried out hundreds of similar attacks on the city of Marib, using ballistic missiles, Katyusha rockets or drones.