Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed three soldiers who were sentenced for "high treason" and "cooperating with the enemy" in a way that threatens the kingdom and its military interests, according to a statement by the kingdom's Ministry of Defence.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the trio, named as Mohammed Bin Ahmed, Shaher Bin Issa, and Hamoud Bin Ibrahim were convicted in a fair trial in a specialist court, before being handed the death sentence by royal order and that they were working for the Defence Ministry.
The statement from the ministry is considered to be a rare public announcement concerning military executions.
"The fact that the names of the decedents were publicised means the Saudis must consider their alleged misconduct to be exceptionally egregious and thus worthy of exemplary punishment," David Des Roches, from the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, told AFP.
The ministry did not elaborate on who the enemy was, although the executions were reportedly carried out at the military's Southern Command, based close to the border with Yemen, where the kingdom has been waging a six-year military campaign against the Houthi movement, which seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, before forming a de facto government which controls most of the country's densely populated areas.
Last month, the Sanaa-authorities held a state funeral for a Saudi soldier who defected to the pro-Houthi Yemeni armed forces and was killed during the ongoing battle for Marib, which has intensified in recent days and is the last Saudi-backed stronghold in the north of the country.