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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Saudi Arabia's king pardons soldiers fighting in Yemen

The move was to show appreciation for the “heroics and sacrifices” of the country’s soldiers

Saudi soldiers stand guard as a Saudi air force cargo plane, carrying aid, lands at an airfield in Yemen's central province of Marib, on February 8, 2018. AFP

King Salman of Saudi Arabia issued a royal pardon lifting any “military and disciplinary” penalties for soldiers fighting in Yemen, state media reported.

An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in the Yemen war to push back the Houthi rebels and restore the power of the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi. The coalition intervened in March 2015 at the request of Mr Hadi’s government after the rebels took control of the capital Sanaa.

A statement announcing the pardon, which was carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) did not mention any particular crimes, but said the move was to show appreciation for the “heroics and sacrifices” of the country’s soldiers.

The statement announced the order "pardoning all military men, who have taken part in the Operation Restoring Hope of their respective military and disciplinary penalties, in regard of some rules and disciplines".

The Yemeni government and the coalition accuse Iran of supplying the Houthis with weapons, including ballistic missiles, which have repeatedly targeted the kingdom. Tehran denies the allegation.

Nearly 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict.

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