RIYADH: Malaysian troops have arrived Sunday in Saudi Arabia to join the Saudi-led coalition against Shiite Houthi group in Yemen, the Saudi state news agency reported.
According to the agency, Malaysia became the 12th country to join the coalition, a week after Senegal announced that 2,000 of its troops would join the coalition.
The coalition’s operations center is preparing plans for the participation of the Malaysian and Senegalese forces and the nature of the tasks to be assigned to them, the report said.
The new agency gave no details about the number of Malaysian troops that had arrived or whether other would follow.
It did not clarify whether they were ground troops or air force personnel.
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi fled to Riyadh in late March after Houthi forces attacked his residence in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden.
In the same month, Saudi Arabia and several allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.
Riyadh says its air campaign comes in response to appeals by Hadi for military intervention against the Houthi militia.
The Shiite group has agreed to a Saudi-proposed five-day humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and called for resuming political dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations.
On Friday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a humanitarian truce in Yemen as of Tuesday provided it would be respected by the Houthis.
However, in a quick response, Malaysia Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein said, the troops are for humanatrian and evacuation effort.