Coalition announces departure of planes carrying Houthi prisoners to Yemen

Coalition Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki.
Coalition Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki.

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen announced Friday the departure of two flights carrying Houthi prisoners to Yemen as part of Saudi humanitarian initiative.

The three stages of transporting prisoners via air to Sanaa and Aden are set to be completed Friday, and foreign fighters working behind Houthi lines will be handed over to embassies of their countries, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Coalition declared back in April 28 that 163 Houthi prisoners would be released as an extension on the Saudi humanitarian initiative.

An aircraft transporting 40 Houthi prisoners to Yemen landed in Aden as part of Saudi humanitarian initiative, the Coalition said. A second batch of an unreported number of prisoners also arrived in Aden.

The prisoners had then participated in combat operations against the Kingdom, the SPA reported. The transfer is part of an effort to end the crisis in Yemen and achieve peace, Coalition Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said.

It comes as the Coalition seeks to fortify shared efforts to maintain the UN-brokered truce, which went into effect on April 2. The fragile truce, which began on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, continues to be largely held, offering a glimmer of hope in Yemen.

The truce has led to oil tankers arriving at the port of Hodeidah, potentially easing fuel shortages in Sanaa and elsewhere. The truce also involved a deal to resume commercial flights out of Sanaa’s airport for the first time in six years.

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