Saudi Arabia is recruiting desperate Yemenis to defend its borders against Houthi fighters, the Middle East Eye revealed, adding that Riyadh is staying far from the fighting and is orchestrating air raids on Yemeni targets.
MEE quoted returned mercenaries as saying that they were given only a few weeks of training before being deployed into Saudi borders.
They noted that they were paid an average of $800 a month to fight far superior Houthi forces.
Ahmed, 29, who fought on the Najran border as a mercenary, said after two years of war, he had to choose between fighting for the Saudis or living in penury in his village in Taiz province.
“I knew it would be more dangerous [to fight on the borders] than to join local battles, but fighting on the Saudi borders was the best chance I had to reach my dreams,” Ahmed told MEE. “It was better to die than to live a burden on my father.”
According to reports, most regular troops employed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen also foreigners.
“Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries who wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of The Modern Mercenary.
“Latin American mercenaries are a sign of what's to come.”