Malaysia denies forces to join Saudi-led Yemen offensive
Defence ministry official says troops solely in Yemen to assist in evacuation of stranded students.

Malaysia has denied its alleged involvement in a 12-country coalition led by Saudi Arabia to fight against militants in Yemen, despite the presence of its forces in the country.

An unnamed Malaysian defence ministry official told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the military force is solely in Yemen to assist in the evacuation of stranded Malaysian students, and those from other countries.

"The Saudi Gazette report is false," he said. "The troops were only there to assist in humanitarian and evacuation missions, as there were still Malaysian students there."

The official requested anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to media.

On Sunday, the Saudi state news agency reported that Malaysian troops had arrived in Saudi Arabia to join the Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite Houthi group in Yemen.

According to the agency, Malaysia became the 12th country to join the coalition, a week after Senegal announced that 2,000 of its troops would join the coalition.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi fled to Riyadh in late March after Houthi forces attacked his residence in Yemen's southern port city of Aden.

Last Modified: 2015-05-12 08:35:38
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