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Yemen war: Pakistan defends planned deployment to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan announced Saturday its intention to send thousands of troops to support Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 February, 2018

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Pakistan's defence minister says Pakistani forces have mountain warfare and counterterrorism skills that could be useful for Saudi troops.

Pakistan's defence minister says the planned deployment of 1,000 troops to Saudi Arabia does not violate a parliamentary resolution against taking part in combat operations in Yemen.

Khurram Dastigir told the Senate on Monday that the troops would be training and advising Saudi forces in line with a bilateral agreement and would not see combat.

Saudi Arabia has been seeking Pakistani military support for its war in Yemen, where it has been leading a coalition battling Houthi rebels since March 2015.

The Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes that have amounted to thousands of civilian deaths and mass displacement in their battle to restore the government regime.

The coalition have also imposed a naval blockade on Yemen's ports, depriving millions of basic food and medical supplies.

Pakistan's parliament unanimously passed a resolution three years ago saying it would not contribute combat troops to the alliance.

Dastigir says Pakistani forces have mountain warfare and counterterrorism skills that could be useful for Saudi troops.

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