SANAA, Yemen, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Al-Houthi rebel leaders announced Monday in an audio message that they would withdraw from territory seized from Saudi Arabia.
Houthi rebel groups during the weekend said a major announcement from rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi was imminent, but made no mention of their plans.
Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the rebel leader, said in a Monday audio message he would withdraw his fighters from Saudi Arabia as part of a broader "initiative" with Riyadh, al-Arabiya reports.
"We announce our full withdrawal from all Saudi territory," the rebel leader added.
Yemeni forces fought against Houthi rebels sporadically since 2004. In August, the government launched a major offensive against the Shiite group in the northern provinces bordering Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh entered the fight when Houthi rebel leaders crossed the border and engaged security forces at checkpoints in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen is dealing with the Houthi rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and a rising al-Qaida presence in the country.
Western leaders fear Yemen could collapse from the multi-tiered threat, establishing the country as the new base for al-Qaida.
Meanwhile, aid groups complained the northern conflict created a humanitarian disaster in Yemen, with the International Red Cross saying the situation for civilians trapped by the fighting has "dramatically worsened."