ISLAMABAD – Pakistan will send combat troops to protect Saudi Arabia’s southern borders from attacks by Houthis in Yemen, reported Middle East Eye citing senior security sources.

The brigade will be based in the south of the Kingdom, but will only be deployed on its border, sources told Middle East Eye. “It will not be used beyond Saudi borders,” one said.

“It is the latest twist in a brutal and devastating two-year war, which has killed more than 10,000 people in Yemen, injured over 40,000 and brought the impoverished nation to the verge of famine,” the report read.

The war was launched by Saudi Arabia and its Arab coalition allies after the Houthis overran Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, and the southern port of Aden and ousted the Saudi-backed president, Abd Rabbuh Hadi.

The deployment of the Pakistani brigade follows a visit by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistani chief of army staff (COAS), to Saudi Arabia on a three-day official visit in December last year.

“COAS reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the security and protection of the Holy Mosques and also the territorial integrity of the kingdom,” the Pakistani army said in a statement.

“Later, General Qamar Javed Bajwa met chief of general staff of Saudi Forces, General Abdul Rehman bin Saleh al-Bunyan, to discuss military to military relations, defence cooperation and regional security situation.

“Both leaders agreed to boost military cooperation and collaboration.”

Two years ago the parliament rejected a request by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for Pakistan to join a “Sunni” coalition to fight the Houthis.