Saudi officer exchanged with seven Houthi rebels in swap of prisoners

Saudi Arabia welcomes swap of prisoners with Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, calling it as “calm” to heavy clashes on border

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Tribesmen loyal to the Houthi movement hold their weapons at a gathering to show their support for the group, in Yemen's capital Sanaa December 15, 2015.

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it welcomed a prisoner exchange with the Yemeni Houthis, calling it as a “calm” to fierce clashes on the border, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

A Saudi officer detained by the Iran-backed Houthis has been exchanged for seven Houthi militants who had been held in areas near the Saudi-Yemeni border, the state agency said.

Talks pushed-by the United Nations to bring a political solution to the conflict in Yemen was obviously the reason for the prisoners swap.

The peace talks between the fighting parties in Yemen have started on December 15 in Switzerland and a ceasefire began in the same day.

However, a dramatic increase was observed in the number of casualties despite all efforts to end the conflict in the country.

The conflict in Yemen started last year when the Houthi militias had captured the capital Sanaa heading towards the southern cities and forcing the government to flee to the neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia then has led a coalition launching an aerial campaign after Hadi’s request to “save Yemen.”

According to UN figures, at least 6,100 civilians have been killed in Yemen - nearly half of them civilians -, more than 28,000 have been injured and 2.5 million have been internally displaced since the conflict started.

TRTWorld and agencies