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Yemen’s Ansarullah, Saudi Arabia swap bodies amid peace talks


Mahdi al-Mashat, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, center, meets with Saudi and Omani delegations at the Republican Palace in Sana’a, Yemen, April 9, 2023 (Photo by Reuters)

Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement and Saudi Arabia have swapped bodies of the fallen fighters in the latest sign of progress in talks aimed at ending the Saudi aggression.

The Saudi delegation received the bodies of six of its soldiers and allied fighters, and the Yemeni delegation received 58 bodies at the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV on Wednesday showed body bags being exchanged between vans and trucks. It was not clear when the exchange took place.

The swap occurred within the framework of a deal reached after weeks of negotiations between the warring parties.

In another sign of thawing ties, Saudi Arabia said last week it would allow Yemen Airways to transport passengers into the kingdom for the annual Hajj pilgrimage from the Yemeni capital Sana’a for the first time since Riyadh launched the war and blockade on Yemen in 2015.

The first commercial flight transporting more than 270 Yemeni Hajj pilgrims departed Sana’a to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, enlisting the assistance of some of its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates, as well as massive shipments of advanced weaponry from the United States and Western Europe.

The Western governments further extended political and logistical support for Riyadh in their failed bid to restore power in Yemen to the country’s former Saudi-installed government.

The former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned in late 2014 and later fled to Riyadh amid a political conflict with Ansarullah. The movement has been running Yemen’s affairs in the absence of a functioning administration.

The war led to the killing of tens of thousands of Yemenis and turned the entire nation into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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