'Most peaceful country' in Middle East sends 1,000 ground troops to fight rebels in Yemen

Qatar has committed ground troops to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the country

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The Independent Online

Qatar has sent around 1,000 ground troops across the border into Yemen to join the Saudi-backed offensive against Houthi rebels, it has been reported.

Military sources told Al Jazeera forces were headed into the country’s Maareb province to join the troops already fighting in the area.

They were reportedly backed by more than 200 armoured vehicles and 30 Apache combat helicopters.

The report comes following an escalation of the conflict after dozens of Gulf Arab soldiers were killed in a missile strike.

Earlier this year, Qatar was described as the "most peaceful country in the Middle East" after it was ranked at 30 out of 162 on the annual Vision of Humanity's peace index – the lowest score in the entire region.

Although this is down eight places on its position last year, it is still high due to Qatar's relatively high levels of internal peace and security, the Doha News reports.

On Sunday, the Saudi coalition carried out an airstrike against key military targets controlled by the Shia rebels and killed at least 24 members of two families, according to AP.

Up to 4,500 people have now been killed in the conflict, including hundreds of children, with the UN issuing desperate appeals for foreign donors after it revealed an estimated 80 per cent of the population needed humanitarian aid in June.

The Independent has contacted Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters