ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Fighters of the Houthi rebel militia on Tuesday continued progressing towards capturing Yemen's energy-rich provinces following weeks of ferocious battles, a military official told Xinhua.
"New strategic areas in the country's oil-rich provinces of Shabwa and Marib were seized by the Houthi militia despite the intensified Saudi aerial bombardment against its fighters," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
He clarified that forces backed by the country's Islah party began early military withdrawals which "largely facilitated the Houthis' rapid progress."
"The Islah forces, part of the government, made no adequate military preparations to confront the Houthis and block their advancement into the oil fields in Shabwa and Marib," he noted.
On Monday, the Saudi-led coalition intensified the aerial bombardment against the areas controlled by Houthi militia in Marib and other neighboring areas.
The anti-Houthi military coalition announced that its air operations killed 150 Houthis in Marib, particularly near the district of Abdiya.
During the past few days, hundreds of Houthi fighters were killed or injured as a result of the Saudi airstrikes, according to local Yemeni sources.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched in February a major offensive toward Marib in an attempt to seize control of the province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.