Riyadh - The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting to restore legitimacy in Yemen has viewed with concern media reports alleging the transfer of US military weapons to the Iranian-backed Al Houthi militia and Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al Maliki strongly denied those claims, and stressed the coalition countries’ commitment to confronting and defeating the illegal Al Houthi takeover of Yemen, in addition to decisively confronting other terrorist groups, such as Daesh And AQAP, renders the idea of supplying weapons to these groups illogical.
Colonel Al Maliki said what was shown in media reports were military vehicles that were damaged and were evacuated. He said 155 vehicles were taken out, and 55 are being prepared for evacuation out of Yemen, stressing the coalition takes seriously any claims of any other party obtaining any weapons of any kind.
The coalition has cooperated with allies and partners in identifying and targeting a number of lethal AQAP terrorists, and coalition countries have cleared AQAP from a number of cities they controlled due to the power vacuum created by Al Houthi coup.
Meanwhile, the coalition launched a targeting operation in the Al Houthi-occupied capital, Sana’a, Saudi state TV reported. The operation targeted a location for storing and preparing drones and launch vehicles in Sana’a.
This came as mediators said on Friday that Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and Al Houthi militia have made “important progress” during talks in Jordan on a troubled UN-brokered prisoner swap deal.
The huge prisoner exchange agreed in Stockholm in December is seen as a crucial confidence-building measure in the UN-led push to calm four years of devastating conflict.
After three days of talks in the Jordanian capital, a UN committee tasked with overseeing the swap said the warring sides had made “important progress in moving the release process forward”.
That headway included “providing additional information on the status of individuals included in the lists of prisoners”, it added.