RNA - Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has reportedly agreed to an offer by the United Nations to implement a major prisoner swap with Saudi-sponsored Yemeni militiamen loyal to the country’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
“After the prisoner swap agreement signed in the Jordanian capital city of Amman on February 16 failed to be put into practice, the UN suggested that we execute the agreement in two stages,” the head of the Houthi-affiliated National Committee for Prisoners Affairs (NCPA), Abdulqader al-Mortada, said in a post published on his official Twitter page on Monday.
He added, “The first phase of the deal includes the release of 1,030 prisoners from the two sides, while the remaining 390 prisoners will be exchanged in the second phase.”
Separately, the Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network reported that Yemeni army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, had established full control over the strategic al-Khanjar camp in Yemen’s northern al-Jawf province following fierce battles with Hadi loyalists and as Saudi-led coalition forces.
Back on March 18, the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces said the country’s troops, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, had retaken Jawf province from Hadi loyalists.
Brigadier General Yahya Saree highlighted that the liberation of the territory took place during an operation codenamed “God Overpowered them,” and that the achievement proved the ability and prowess of Yemen’s armed forces to impose new equations in a different geographical terrain, and on more than one front in a very short period of time.
“Our forces efficiently carried out all their operational tasks after having been able, with God's help, to move from the defense stage to the offense one through a comprehensive military strategy,” he added.
Also on Tuesday, Yemeni army soldiers and Popular Committees fighters repelled an attack by Saudi-paid militiamen in the Dhubab district, also known as the Bab al-Mandab district, of Yemen's southern coastal province of Ta'izz.
Scores of the mercenaries were killed and injured in the process, and a considerable amount of their military hardware was destroyed as well.
Moreover, a human rights organization has condemned Saudi-led forces over storming a complex housing internally displaced persons in the Dar Sad district in the southern Yemeni province of Aden, detaining the men and raping the women and children.
Entesaf Organization for Women and Child Rights denounced in a statement the shameful international silence on the crimes, which it described as prevalent in Aden and other territories occupied by Saudi-led forces, and flagrant violation of the international law, humanitarian covenants, the law of war and religious principles by Saudi mercenaries.
The organization stressed that the acts could be characterized as war crimes and crimes against humanity according to the international law.
“The coalition of aggression led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bears full responsibility for all crimes against (Yemeni) women and children over the past five years,” it said.
The organization then called on the international community, international organizations and human rights bodies to assume their legal and humanitarian responsibilities towards the abhorrent violations and massacres that occur against Yemeni people.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring Hadi back to power and crush Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in their war on Yemen.
Riyadh and its allies have been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll resulted from their bombing campaign in Yemen.
The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.