Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his cabinet returned to Aden on Wednesday, saying they intend to run the country from there until they can go back to Sanaa.
He also said that the government would remain in Aden, though president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi was still outside the country in Riyadh.
Hadi’s supporters, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have since made some gains against the Houthis and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Premier’s return from Saudi Arabia follows that of several other Yemeni ministers who relocated to Aden from the kingdom in the weeks after the city’s recapture.
Since the conflict escalated in late March, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has documented some 6,631 civilian casualties, including 2,112 civilian deaths, and 4,519 injuries.
In Marib, loyalist forces have killed at least nine Houthi militants and captured five west of the provincial capital of the same name, military sources said.
Whatever happens here we can’t ignore – it will spread to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
The campaign aims to prevent the Houthis from seizing power in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia claimed the Shiite group is backed by Iran. Hadi remains in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile coalition warplanes on Wednesday pounded rebel positions around Sanaa, including Al-Dailami air base near the airport, witnesses said.
In Sanaa, residents said coalition air strikes had cut off two bridges, one linking the city to the major Red Sea port of Hodeida and the other to energy-producing Marib.
Their presence, Badi said, “Sends a message to both the inside and outside (world) that all the Yemeni files will be in the hands of a legitimate government on Yemeni lands”.
The escalation comes amid a diplomatic stalemate after Hadi’s government backed away from UN-sponsored talks, insisting that the rebels first withdraw from territory they have seized. They still control large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.
In the latest attack, assailants set fire to the Church of Saint Joseph, a local official said.