Saudi Arabia pardons convicted soldiers to keep them in Yemen fronts: Report

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Shafaqna Pakistan:Saudi authorities have reportedly pardoned army soldiers convicted of various crimes in the ultra-conservative kingdom in order to encourage them to stay in battle fronts and fight against Yemeni army forces and their allies from Popular Committees.

Arabic-language Mirat al-Jazeera news website, citing a report published by the Arabic-language Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz, reported on Monday that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has found soldiers from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) as well as command centers in Yemen eligible for receiving the clemency by relevant judicial officials.

The report added that the offer does not apply to troops found guilty by courts of crimes against national security and grave offenses.

Observers and juridical experts argue that the directive aims to pardon Saudi soldiers involved in the war against Yemen, who have criminal records and are convicted of criminal acts in different regions of the conflict-plagued country.

Moreover, the directive indicates that the Saudi regime relies on fighters with aggressive nature to commit crimes and gross human rights violations against ordinary Yemeni people.

Saudi warplanes pound different regions across Yemen

Separately, Saudi military aircraft have carried out a raft of separate airstrikes against residential neighborhoods across Yemen, causing damage and possible casualties in the targeted areas.

Saudi warplanes conducted two aerial assaults against the outskirts of the Yemen’s northwestern mountainous city of Sa’ada, located 240 kilometers north of the capital Sana’a, on Monday afternoon. There were no immediate reports about the extent of damage or possible casualties available though.

Saudi fighter jets also bombarded an area in the Maqbanah district of Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz, besides an area in the Khabb wa ash Sha’af district of the country’s northern province of al-Jawf. No reports about the damage or possible casualties were quickly available.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.