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The battle for Sanaa looms

If a cease-fire is not arranged, the battle for Sanaa will turn into a humanitarian disaster.
A soldier from the United Arab Emirates armed with a machine gun watches over Yemeni territory on a Chinook helicopter on the frontline conflict zone of Marib in central Yemen September 16, 2015. Armed with high-tech Western weaponry, Gulf Arab soldiers are fighting with newfound determination against what they see as the expanding influence of Iran, their non-Arab and Shi'ite Muslim arch-foe, in a war that has ravaged Yemen for six months. The oil-producing province of Marib has become a key battlefield be

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are preparing for a major offensive to take Yemen's capital from the Zaydi Houthi rebels this fall. If the battle becomes a house-to-house urban clash, it will have disastrous humanitarian consequences.

The Saudis are massing forces at two locations for the assault on Sanaa. To the east of the capital, coalition forces are preparing to attack in Marib province. According to press reports, 4,000 troops from the United Arab Emirates, another 1,000 from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and an unknown number of Yemeni loyalists are assembled for this offensive. Furthermore, south coalition forces in Taiz are preparing another move on Sanaa. Saudi and Emirati troops and Yemeni loyalists are reinforcing this axis as well.

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