Kuwait City: Kuwait has decided to send troops to its neighbour Saudi Arabia to resist cross-border attacks by the Yemeni Houthi movement, the Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas reported on Tuesday.
Though a member of a Saudi-led coalition that has bombed the Iran-allied Houthis for nine months, Kuwait has held off sending ground troops to the conflict in which scores of soldiers from neighbours the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been killed.
On Tuesday, Bahrain announced that three of its soldiers serving in the coalition had died in Saudi Arabia.
Capt Ahmed Mohammed Ameen, Capt Mubarak Sa’ad Al Rumaihi and Sgt Major Hasan Ali Skandar died “in an incident on the southern borders of Saudi Arabia,” the Bahrain Defence Force general command said.
The BDF statement published on the official Bahrain News Agency did not say how or when the deaths occurred. However, cross-border fire from the conflict has killed more than 80 soldiers and civilians so far.
The latest deaths take the number of Bahraini troops killed while serving in the coalition to eight.
“Kuwait decided on the participation of its ground forces, represented by an artillery battalion, in operations to strike at positions of Houthi aggression against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Al Qabas said.
The Kuwaiti foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mostly Gulf Arab forces intervened in a civil war in Yemen in March after the Houthis forced its government into exile and appeared poised to seize the whole country.
The conflict that followed saw Gulf and pro-government ground forces claw back some strategic territory.
Meanwhile, gunmen shut down three faculties at the University of Aden on Tuesday in an attempt to force students to observe segregation of the sexes on campus, witnesses said.
The incident was the second of its kind in recent weeks in Aden, Yemen’s second city, where the presence of extremist groups is growing as the embattled government struggles to spread control.
The gunmen, some of whom were masked, forced the students out of the faculties of administrative sciences, law, and engineering, before locking down the gates, students said.
“They dragged us out of the exam halls,” said one of the students. “They detained two students who were filming the incident.”
Students said the gunmen shouted: “No mixing. We have warned you before,” and added that the authorities did not intervene to stop the extremists.
It was not immediately clear what group the gunmen belonged to but witnesses and local residents said they were loyalists of Ayman Askar, a local militia leader known for his links to both Al Qaeda and ISIL.
Mr Askar’s militia is influential in Aden’s district of Madinat Asha’ab where the faculties are located, according to residents.
Last month, radical gunmen also entered the faculty of administrative sciences in Aden and closed it down after threatening to use force against students if they did not observe segregation of the sexes.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), long active in Yemen, and the newly emerged ISIL appear to be vying for influence in the main port city.
The United Nations says, almost 6,000 people have died in Yemen’s conflict since March.