Yemenis in Marib, which produces more than 70 percent of Yemen's oil and gas, remain on edge two weeks after pro-government forces ousted Houthi rebels from the city. Nathan Frandino reports.
A Chinook aircraft accompanied by Apache helicopters takes journalists for a glimpse into Marib. They're being allowed to visit the crucial energy hub two weeks after Yemeni forces and Arab allies recaptured the city from Houthi rebels. These soldiers are still celebrating. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) YEMENI SOLDIER AT SAFIR AIR BASE, SAYING: "Yemen rejects the Houthis, Yemen is disobeying the Houthis and we will liberate it from the Houthi militias." The months-old conflict between the Gulf-backed Yemeni President, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and the Iran-backed Houthis has killed more than 5,400 people and sunken the country into chaos. Despite the ousting of Houthis from the city, Marib governor Sultan Al-Arada remains concerned over security. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GOVERNOR OF MARIB, SULTAN AL-ARADA, SAYING: "If we establish militias, our destiny will become like some other countries that are exposed to harm such as Libya and Syria. Even some of our own areas such as Aden, I'm not satisfied with the government's performance there after its liberation. The state must remain dominant and we don't care who rules after that." Marib produces over 70 percent of Yemen's oil and gas. It's the country's main hub for generating electricity. Pro-government forces patrol the city, wary of letting their guard down... The Houthi rebels are now some 30 kilometers outside the city, though the periodic sound of gunfire and explosions serves as reminder in Marib that the war only remains a short drive away.