ADEN, Yemen

Houthis rebels in Yemen said Sunday that 200 captives would be released by the government, while the group would release 101 during prisoner swap negotiations in Jordan.

Abdul Qader al-Murtaza, the head of Houthi Captive Affairs, said in a statement broadcast on Houthi-owned Al-Masirah television that rebels would also release the president’s brother, Nasser Mansour Hadi, during talks Thursday in Jordan.

Al-Murtaza said the Riyadh administration should also participate in negotiations for the release of Saudi Arabian prisoners held by the Houthis.

He also urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join talks because of the presence of a military force in Yemen.

The government is not ready to release all prisoners, and the ropes are in the hands of the Saudi Arabia regarding this issue, said al-Murtaza.

The Yemeni government has not yet commented on the matter.

Yemeni government and the Houthis released 1,061 captives Oct. 15-16 in the largest prisoner exchange since 2014.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

More than 100,000 Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with millions at risk of starvation.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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