TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement released six Saudi prisoners, an Ansarullah official said, after the kingdom released over 100 Houthis.
The releases signal that the Saudi coalition and the Houthis are advancing a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending the Saudi aggression against the Arab world’s poorest country.
“We handed over the released prisoners to the International Committee of the Red Cross at the airport in the capital, Sana’a,” Houthi official Abdul-Qader el-Murtaza said in a statement on Wednesday, AP reported.
He called on the Saudi-led coalition to take similar steps and free other Yemeni detainees in the war.
The ICRC said it facilitated the release following an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis.
“We are happy to see a momentum occurring with the release of detainees that has been happening on both sides,” said Freya Raddi, the ICRC’s deputy head of delegation in Yemen. “Today is important as 6 more families will be reunited. It is a special moment when this happens, and we are honored to be part of it.”
The Saudi-led coalition confirmed that the six were brought home, according to Saudi Arabia state television.
Last September, the ICRC facilitated the release of over 200 captives who had been held since the Houthis seized Sana’a, along with much of northern Yemen, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.