SANAA: Qatar has sent around 1,000 ground troops to Yemen, Doha-based Al Jazeera television said on Monday, their first reported involvement in a Saudi-backed offensive against the dominant Houthi group.
Military sources said Qatari forces were on their way to Yemen and preparing to join a new push on Houthi positions in the capital Sanaa – though they told Reuters the soldiers had not yet entered the Arabian Peninsula country.
Qatari pilots have joined months of Saudi-led air strikes on the Houthis, an Iran-allied group that seized Sanaa last year, advanced across the country and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile in March.
The reported involvement of Qatari ground troops came amid an escalation of the conflict days after a missile strike that killed dozens of Gulf Arab soldiers.
Al Jazeera’s English website said 1,000 Qatari soldiers, backed by 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache helicopters had been deployed.
The Qatari foreign ministry made no immediate comment on the report.