RNA - Saudi Arabia’s official Saudi Press Agency reported that Yemeni forces and their allies fatally shot five troopers, identified as First Lieutenant Fallah bin Saeed al-Jarabie’, First Lieutenant Abdulrahman bin Tariq Al Khalifah, First Corporal Saad bin Nasser al-Qahtani, Sergeant Abdulali bin Mosaed al-Rashidi and Conscript Ali Saharan Al-Qarni in the southern areas, during different exchanges of fire.
Corporal Ali bin Mohammed Hadi Asiri and First Sergeant Mefrah bin Jaber Ghazwani also lost their lives in clashes with Yemeni forces in Jizan region, located 967 kilometers (601 miles) southwest of Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.
Yemen's Houthis, Saudi-backed militiamen exchange prisoners
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has announced the completion of separate prisoner swap deals with Saudi-sponsored Yemeni militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the country’s northern province of al-Jawf and southwestern province of Lahij.
The Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing head of the Houthi-affiliated National Committee for Prisoners Affairs Abdulqader Al-Mortada, reported on Wednesday that nine members of the Yemeni Army and allied Popular Committees had been released, and that the agreement was through “a local mediation.”
Mortada, however, did not provide details about the number of released prisoners in return.
Despite an ongoing failure to reach a comprehensive solution for Yemen’s crisis, prisoner swap deals take place now and then between the warring parties.
Houthis, pro-Hadi militiamen set up joint positions in Hudaydah
Separately, Houthi fighters and Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to former Hadi have set up joint observation posts as part of de-escalation moves in the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, in a post published on his Twitter page, described the establishment of the four positions along frontlines in the flashpoint city, located around 230 kilometers west of the capital Sana'a, and the deployment of liason officers as positive moves.
“This step forward will enhance de-escalation in flashpoint areas and save lives,” he wrote.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.