Three foreign military advisers have been killed in clashes with Houthi Ansarullah fighters and allied forces in Yemen’s southwestern Ta’izz Province, reports say.
Yemen’s al-Marsad news agency said on Wednesday that the three foreign mercenaries were employed by the US-based private military contractor, Blackwater, to fight against Yemenis.
According to the Yemeni sources, the recent fatalities have brought to 14 the number of Blackwater forces killed in clashes in Yemen.
On Tuesday, six Colombian soldiers and their Australian commander, named as Pilip Stitman, were killed after fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the allied army units launched attacks on Saudi-led forces in al-Amri region in Bab-el-Mandeb area in Ta’izz. They had been also hired by Blackwater.
Sources in Colombia have confirmed the presence of Colombian nationals in Yemen, saying the troops have been promised a weekly salary of USD 1,000 and United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizenship.
The New York Times reported on November 25 that the UAE has “secretly” deployed 450 Latin American troops, mostly from Colombia, but also from Panama, El Salvador and Chile, to fight in the war on Yemen.
Yemeni sources say the Colombians fighting in Yemen are part of a larger battalion who have been training in the UAE deserts over the past five years.
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of forces from Egypt, Sudan, Colombia and private contractors against Houthi fighters.
Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since March 26. The Saudi military strikes were launched with the purported target of undermining Ansarullah and bringing fugitive former president of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, back to power.