SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Al-Houthi rebel leaders Tuesday offered to swap prisoners with Saudi Arabia if Saudi forces stopped attacking them.
"If there is a true peace intention, we can resolve the issue of the Saudi soldiers through a swap of war captives," the Yemen Post quotes rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi as saying via a statement.
"Our stance towards peace and withdrawal from Saudi regions is fixed and we still stick to the initiative announced weeks ago based on condition that Saudi troops stop attacking us," the statement says, according to the newspaper.
It was released after a major Saudi military operation targeting al-Houthi rebels operating in the northern provinces of Yemen along the Saudi border. The rebels claim on their Web site that Saudi fighter jets carried out numerous strikes in northern Yemen on Monday.
The rebels had said last month they would withdraw from Saudi Arabia after intense clashes with Saudi forces, six of whom are still missing and believed to be held by the rebels.
Neighboring Yemen is dealing with the Houthi rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and a rising al-Qaida presence throughout the country.
Western leaders fear Yemen could collapse from the multi-tiered threat, establishing the country as the new base for al-Qaida.