RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition said Tuesday it has released 200 Houthi prisoners to support peace efforts towards ending the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s state-run SPA news agency reported.
It quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki as saying that the move was aimed at laying the groundwork for an exchange of prisoners and supporting the Stockholm agreement to resolve the crisis in Yemen.
Maliki also said that flights from Sanaa airport will start for patients needing medical care with the cooperation of the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Stockholm Agreement
In December, Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held a round of UN-brokered talks in Stockholm which yielded a ceasefire agreement in the Red Sea port city of Al-Hudaydah.
The warring parties, however, have yet to fully withdraw from Al-Hudaydah amid tit-for-tat accusations of truce violations and sporadic clashes in other parts of the country.
Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.
*Writing by Davut Demircan
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