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Houthis ‘still break international law’ despite confidence-building measures: Arab Coalition

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RIYADH: The Arab Coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government condemned the Houthi militia on Monday for violating international law.

The Houthis continue to plant improvised explosive devices in schools, including Al-Sharaf School in Hodeidah, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

The coalition is continuing its efforts to rescue and rehabilitate children recruited as fighters by the Houthis, in cooperation with Yemen’s legitimate government, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and human rights groups, he added.

The coalition has so far rescued and rehabilitated 102 such children, he said, adding that the rehabilitation period takes at least three months.

Rehabilitation includes disarming the children, providing them with medical and psychological treatment, and returning them to their families under the government’s supervision.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have been denying ships access to Hodeidah port for the past three days, said Al-Maliki.

The coalition supports efforts by UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to reach a political solution to the Yemen crisis, the spokesman added.

The coalition agreed to the evacuation of wounded Houthi fighters to Oman for medical treatment out of “humanitarian considerations and as part of confidence-building measures” ahead of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden, Al-Maliki said.

Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Monday to escort the Houthi delegation to the talks, which might start on Wednesday, said two sources familiar with the matter.

A UN-chartered flight took off at 6 p.m. carrying the wounded Houthis, their escorts and a team of doctors to Oman, a security source at Sanaa International Airport told AFP. The Houthis had asked to travel on a plane not inspected by the Arab Coalition.

The Houthis launched 208 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia between March 26, 2015, and Dec. 3, 2018, Al-Maliki said.

The Yemeni National Army has made great progress against the Houthis in various parts of the country, he added. Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 648 Houthi terrorists were killed, he said.

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