Published: Tue, October 01, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Houthis unilaterally release hundreds of detainees

Houthis unilaterally release hundreds of detainees

Houthis offered a truce with the Saudis As a recent report notes: "The Houthis said on September 20 they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations".

Houthi-run al-Masirah TV.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which facilitated the release, said 290 Yemeni nationals were transferred from the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa to their homes.

Reacting to the development, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths welcomed the move, saying it would hopefully lead to further progress on the prisoner swap deal.

The Houthis said on Monday they were releasing "350 prisoners and detainees" drawn from the list prepared for the deal, including three Saudis.

Iran says this month's missile-and-drone attack by Yemen's rebels on major Saudi oil sites was an act of "legitimate defense" by the Iran-allied Houthis.

Other Houthi officials reached by phone in Sanaa said that the vast majority were Yemeni soldiers fighting with the coalition and that about a dozen were Saudi nationals.

Yemeni military officials said Sunday the soldiers the Houthis claimed they captured were fighters recruited informally by the Saudi-led coalition to fight inside Saudi Arabian borders.

Yemen's stalemated war has killed tens of thousands of people, badly damaged Yemen's infrastructure and crippled its health system.

Yemen's civil war has spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis over the past four years.

It was reported over the weekend that Saudi Arabia had agreed to end its bombing campaign in some parts of Yemen in an attempt to kickstart political talks on the country's future. Days later, 15 members of one family, including seven children, were reportedly killed in an apparent coalition airstrike in southern Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has yet to the respond to the claims, and there has been no independent verification.

Tens of thousands of people, majority civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in March 2015.

The Houthis said on Sept 20 they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations.

Like this: