Coalition hands over 27 child soldiers to Yemen

The children were taken prisoner during fighting with Iran-allied Al Houthi militia

RIYADH: The Saudi-led military coalition fighting to uphold legitimacy in Yemen has handed over 27 child soldiers to the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the Saudi government media office said on Thursday.

The children were taken prisoner during fighting with the with the Iran-allied Al Houthi militia on the border of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh’s Centre for International Communication said, citing an unnamed official source.

“Al Houthi coup militias are forcing Yemeni children and youths to fight, pushing them to battlefronts and using them in failed operations,” the statement said. It said that all the children were transported to Marib province in northern Yemen, which is under Yemeni government control.

A coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen conflict in March 2015 when Al Houthis advanced on the southern port city of Aden and forced Hadi and his government into exile in Saudi Arabia.

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