Saudi-UAE coalition releases 128 Houthi prisoners to Yemen – By Christen McCurdy (UPI) / Nov 28 2019
Nov. 28 (UPI) — More than 100 Houthi prisoners of war returned to Yemen Thursday after being released by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Yemen’s main airport, which had been closed since 2016 by the Saudi-UAE coalition, reopened briefly to receive 128 of 200 freed Houthis, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which supervised the arrival.
“This release is excellent news for the freed detainees and their families in Yemen with whom they will be reunited,” Kedir Awol Omar, the ICRC’s head of mission in Saudi Arabia, said.
Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, has thanked the Saudis for releasing the Yemenis, his office announced in a tweet.
Last December, warring parties reached an agreement in Sweden to release each other’s prisoners. Houthi rebels released 290 detainees in September.
At least 7,000 people have died since Yemen’s civil war began in 2015, but monitors believe the death toll could be as high as 100,000, including 12,000 civilians, the BBC reports.
A Yemeni child looks on as he waits for the arrival of his relative of Houthi detainees after they were released by Saudi Arabia, outside Sanaa Airport in Sanaa, Yemen Thursday. According to reports, 128 Houthi detainees were repatriated from Saudi Arabia to the Houthi-controlled Sanaa. Photo by Yahna Arhab/EPA-EFE