The Saudi-led Arab coalition said that a plane carrying Yemeni prisoners took off from Saudi Arabia to Yemen on Friday.

Iran PressMiddle East: The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen said on Friday it had started transporting released prisoners to Yemen in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) under a humanitarian initiative to support an UN-brokered truce.

The coalition said it would release 163 prisoners from Yemen's Houthi Movement who fought against Saudi Arabia last month. Still, a Houthi official later said the list included individuals who did not belong to the movement.

The official Saudi Press Agency said on Twitter Friday that the process had begun, adding there would be "three stages of air transport of prisoners" to Yemen's capital Sanaa and the southern port city of Aden.

It did not say how many prisoners would be let go. Still, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told AFP the organization was "facilitating the transfer of more than 100 Yemeni former detainees from Saudi Arabia to Yemen.

"The spokesman, Basheer Omar, said there would be three ICRC flights from the Saudi city of Abha to Aden.

Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen has killed hundreds of thousands of people and pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.

A renewable two-month truce went into effect in early April.

In late March, just before the truce took effect, the Houthis said they had agreed to a prisoner swap to free 1,400 of their fighters in exchange for 823 pro-government personnel — including 16 Saudis and three Sudanese.

According to the Red Cross, the last such swap was in October 2020, when 1,056 prisoners were released on each side.


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