Project Masam, a Saudi initiative to clear land mines in Yemen, in the last week of January dismantled 733 mines planted by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Overseen by the Saudi aid agency KSrelief, the project’s special teams destroyed 602 pieces of unexploded ordnance, 126 anti-tank mines, three improvised explosive devices, and two anti-personnel mines.
The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a significant threat to the lives of innocent people, including children, women, and the elderly.
Project Masam is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia on the orders of King Salman to help the Yemeni people, clearing routes for humanitarian aid to reach the country’s citizens.
The demining operations took place in Marib, Aden, Jouf, Shabwa, Taiz, Hodeidah, Lahij, Sanaa, Al-Bayda, Al-Dhale, and Saada.
A total of 430,323 mines have been cleared since the start of the initiative in 2018, according to Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the project’s managing director.
These include 272,868 items of unexploded ordnance, 143,044 anti-tank mines, 7,960 improvised explosive devices, and 6,451 anti-personnel mines.
The project trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also offers support to Yemenis injured by the devices.
Up to 5 million people are estimated to have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the conflict in Yemen, many of them displaced by the presence of land mines.
Masam teams are tasked with clearing areas such as villages, roads, and schools to facilitate the safe movement of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian goods and services.
The project’s contract was extended for another year in June 2023 at a cost of $33.29 million.
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