Jeddah, Sanaa, Asharq Al-Awsat- Abdullah Amer al-Khuzaie, the father of soldier Yahya Abdullah al-Khuzaie, was overjoyed at the news of his son’s release from Huthi captivity. Saudi soldier Yahya al-Khuzaie was captured by the Huthi insurgents in the early stages of the Huthi conflict with Saudi troops that began in October 2009.
Yahya Abdullah al-Khuzaie, aged 30, lives in the modest village of Khaza’a, which is located in the al-Qoze directorate 30 km south of the al-Qunfoza district. He joined the army 12 years ago, and is the eldest of his 13 siblings. He has been married for five years, and has no children.
Father of the released soldier, Abdullah al-Khuzaie, who is in his sixties, told Asharq Al-Awsat earlier “We received a telephone call from our son Yahya after he was released, and this is the first contact that we have had with him since he was deployed to the battlefield and we heard that he was captured. He is now on a flight heading to Sanaa from Saada.” He added that his son’s voice sounded “different, and he seemed tired” and that he spoke to his mother, and reassured her of his wellbeing.
In a second telephone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Khuzaie confirmed that his son had placed a [second] telephone call to his family after arriving in Sanaa and being handed over to the Saudi embassy in Yemen. Soldier Yahya al-Khuzaie was later taken to hospital in the capital for a medical check-up.
Al-Khuzaie said that after hearing that his son had been captured by the Huthi rebels, he headed to Jizan twice and tried to enter the combat zone in order to search for him, however the Saudi authorities prevented him from entering this area for his own safety.
The Saudi embassy in Sanaa announces on Monday that it had received Saudi soldier Yahya al-Khuzaie, who had been held captive by the Huthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Ali al-Hamdan said that al-Khuzaie was escorted to Sanaa from Saada via helicopter by Deputy Commander of the Yemeni Air Force, Brigadier General Abdullah a-Basha, where he was handed over into the custody of the Saudi embassy.
Upon his arrival in Sanaa, Saudi soldier al-Khuzaie was received by the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Saudi military attaché Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Bin Saeed al-Jaber, and a number of embassy diplomats.
The Huthi rebels handed over soldier Yahya al-Khuzaie to the Yemeni authorities in Saada, and 4 other Saudi soldiers are sill believed to be held by the Huthi rebels.
For his part, Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Ali al-Hamdan told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the Saudi soldier was transferred to Saudi Arabia after transferred to Sanaa by Yemeni Air Force helicopter after being handed over by the Huthis. At 2.30 pm yesterday he was taken to hospital in Sanaa for a medical check-up before returning home [to Saudi Arabia].”
As for the four other Saudi hostages being held by the Huthis, al-Hamdan told Asharq Al-Awsat “we are waiting for good news.”