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Malaysia withdrawing troops from Saudi-led military coalition: Defense minister

Malaysia says it is pulling its troops out of the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been relentlessly pounding impoverished Yemen in an imposed war for the past three years.

According to Press TV, Malaysia’s Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu told journalists in a select media interview at the ministry in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday “The Cabinet made the decision (to bring soldiers home) last week. We are waiting for the preparations carried out by the Armed Forces.”

“We are also waiting for the cooperation from the Foreign Affairs Ministry that will assist in the move,” he added.

Saudi Arabia and some 20 of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former President and an staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Ansarullah Movement.

The Ansarullah Movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the country against the invading forces, has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration during the past three years.

The military aggression against the impoverished nation was initially consisted of a bombing campaign but later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the war had left 600,000 civilians martyred and injured until then. The war and the accompanying blockade have also caused famine across Yemen.

The Saudi-led aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.

“Malaysia remains a friend of the countries as well as their neighbors. [However,] we don’t want to be part of the conflict with Saudi Arabia’s neighboring countries,” Sabu added.