Vanguards of the Malaysian Forces have arrived Sunday at Saudi Air Bases to join Riyadh's military coalition battling Houthi militias in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
With the move, the Asian country became the 12th state in the Saudi-led coalition after Senegal announced it would send 2,100 soldiers to Saudi Arabia to join the alliance.
The Saudi Ministry of Defense said the coalition operations center is preparing to merge the Malaysian and Senegalese Forces.
However, Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysian troops now in Saudi Arabia are there to help in evacuation. He said on Twitter last night said that the troops were only there to assist in humanitarian and evacuation missions, as there were still Malaysian students there.
The Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi militias and their allies on March 26 after they seized control of large parts of the country and advanced on the main southern city of Aden, where President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi had taken refuge, before fleeing to Riyadh.
Meanwhile, A Moroccan F-16 fighter jet taking part in the Saudi-led air campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen has gone missing, Morocco's Armed Forces said early Monday.
The plane had been missing since 6 p.m. the previous day, a statement carried by the state news agency MAP said. The pilot of a second jet has said he did not see pilot of the missing jet eject.
Morocco has six F-16 jets stationed in the United Arab Emirates. It has been taking part in the strikes on the Houthis and militias allied to deposed Yemeni President Saleh since “Operation Decisive Storm” was first launched on March 26.
The MAP statement said an investigation was under way into the whereabouts of the missing jet.
On another development, Houthi fighters in Yemen accepted on Sunday a five-day humanitarian ceasefire proposed by adversary Saudi Arabia but warned they would respond to any violations.
Saudi Arabia had said on Friday that the ceasefire could begin today (Tuesday) if the Houthi militia agreed to the pause.
The Houthis say their campaign is aimed at fighting Al Qaeda militants and to combat corruption. “Any military violation of the ceasefire from Al Qaeda and those who stand with it and support it and fund it will be responded to by the army and security and the popular committees,” Colonel Sharaf Luqman, spokesperson for the Houthi-allied Army, said in a statement published by Saba news agency.
The ceasefire, which was set to allow time for donors to coordinate aid supplies, is due to come into force at 11 pm (20:00 GMT) today.