Saudi Arabian King Salman said personnel serving on the front lines of the war in Yemen will be given one month’s extra pay to reward “their sacrifices” in the conflict.
The money will be given to employees from the defense and interior ministries, as well as the national guard, according to a royal decree released by the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday. The report didn’t disclose how much the government would pay in total. The cost of the Yemen war is adding to the kingdom’s financial woes as it grapples with the plunge of oil prices.
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Saudi Arabia, the champion of Sunni Islam in the Middle East, assembled a military coalition in March of last year to help restore the rule of Yemeni President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi. The campaign began with airstrikes, followed by the deployment of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. More than a year into the operation, while the rebel Houthis and their allies have lost control in southern Yemen, they still hold the capital, Sana’a, and have been launching attacks on Saudi Arabia’s southern borders.
The king’s decree followed an appeal by the kingdom’s top Muslim scholar, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, who has urged banks, businessmen and nongovernmental organizations to donate money to help soldiers defending the border against Houthi assaults.