The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Tuesday it has released 200 Houthi rebels to advance a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending the war in the Arab world’s poorest country.
Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki said in a statement that the move was aimed at paving the way for a larger and long-delayed prisoner swap agreed upon last December.
The coalition has been battling the Iran-backed Houthis on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognised government since 2015.
The prisoner swap was part of a UN-negotiated agreement reached in Sweden, also known as Stockholm agreement last December. The agreement involved a ceasefire in the port of Hodeida, the main passageway for imports and a lifeline for Houthi-controlled areas. The agreement has yet to be fully implemented.