Saudi Arabia’s Project Masam cleared 784 mines in Yemen — which had been planted by the Iran-backed Houthi militia — between Feb. 3 and 9, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
Overseen by the Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief, the project’s special teams destroyed 623 items of unexploded ordnance, 129 anti-tank mines, 29 improvised explosive devices, and three anti-personnel mines.
The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a threat to civilians, including children, women and the elderly.
Project Masam is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia at the request of King Salman, which has cleared 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 431,838 mines have been cleared since the start of the initiative in 2018, according to Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the project’s managing director.
These include 274,113 items of unexploded ordnance, 143,266 anti-tank mines, 8,001 improvised explosive devices, and 6,458 anti-personnel mines.
The initiative trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also offers support to Yemenis injured by the devices.
About 5 million people 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 villages, roads and schools to facilitate the safe movement of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The project’s contract was extended for another year in June 2023 at a cost of $33.29 million.
The shockwaves from the war in Gaza continue to reverberate across the wider Middle East region, with the situation in Yemen much more complex than…
The Houthis say they have recruited thousands of people to their armed forces since October 7, 2023, and activists report the armed group recruitin…