Europe News Desk!!! Yemen’s Houthi rebels have released a government military commander who was held captive for eight years. A Houthi official made the announcement in a statement. Faisal Rajab, a commander in Yemeni government forces, was released on Sunday after a request was made by a tribal delegation from his hometown in the southern province of Abyan. Abdulqadir al-Murtada, head of the Houthi Prisoner Affairs Committee, confirmed Rajab’s release in a statement during a press conference held in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported. With the release of the prisoner, Major General Faisal Rajab, we confirm our readiness for a prisoner exchange, al-Murtada said. Rajab was seen handing over the tribal delegation during the press conference.
Majid Fadel, spokesman for the delegation negotiating with the government, welcomed Rajab’s release, tweeting that Rajab was originally to be released as part of a UN-brokered prisoner swap deal implemented in mid-April, but The Houthis insisted on delaying his release, without giving any reason. Rajab was captured in March 2015 after Houthi rebels stormed the al-Anad air base in the southern province of Lahij. His name appeared on a list of about 900 prisoners who were freed in a three-day prisoner exchange in mid-April. Yemen’s warring sides have expressed readiness for the next round of talks to end the war in the Arab state, which has been raging since late 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi militias took control of several northern cities. Tens of thousands of people have died in the war, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. Recent peace efforts, particularly China-mediated talks that helped restore diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, have raised hopes of a resolution to the Yemeni conflict.
World News Desk!!!