The Arab Coalition forces in Yemen. UAE troops army WAM picture Image Credit:

Cairo: Yemen's Iran-aligned Al Houthi rebels last month forced thousands of African migrants into the Saudi territory, a Saudi-led alliance said Sunday.

"The terrorist Al Houthi militia in April displaced at gunpoint from Yemen more than 8,000 migrants from the African countries and forced them to move towards the kingdom's lands," the alliance's spokesman Col. Turki Al Maliki said, according to the Saudi news agency SPA. They included women and children.

By doing this, Al Houthis attempted to exploit the global preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic, destabilise border security and instigate non-governmental groups, according to the official.

He dismissed as baseless Al Houthis' claims that the kingdom had deported 800 Somalis to Yemen.

"These allegations are an extension of the inhuman deeds pursued by the terrorist Al Houthi militia against African migrants to Yemen," the official said.

"Saudi Arabia has dealt with all humanity with these cases and provided them with all the necessary medical, accommodation and sheltering services," Al Maliki added.

Al Houthis plunged impoverished Yemen into a devastating conflict in late 2014 when they toppled the internationally recognised government and overran the capital Sana'a. In 2015, an Arab coalition co-led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE started a military campaign in Yemen in response to its government.