A spokesman for the Yemeni army told Russian media that hundreds of mercenaries are fighting in his country on behalf of Saudi Arabia and its allies. “They hire poor people from around the world to take part in the hostilities. Among them are Somalis and people from Sudanese tribes,” Brig. Gen. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman told the state-operated Russian news agency RIA Novosti, according to a Jan. 19 report from Sputnik, the agency’s international arm. “However, there are also Europeans, Americans, Colombians. These are contractors from a structure known as Blackwater. This division includes around 400 people.” The private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide became notorious for providing thousands of mercenaries to the U.S. war in Iraq, some of whom were later implicated in war crimes. In September 2007, Blackwater mercenaries opened fire at an Iraqi checkpoint, killing 17, in what would become known as the Nisour Square massacre.Four former Blackwater employees were convicted of the killings in October 2014.