Iranian Backed Houthi Rebels Storm US Embassy In Yemen, Take 25 Hostages
YEMEN - Iranian backed Houthi rebels have stormed the US embassy in Yemen and taken at least 25 hostages, along with equipment and documents. Most of the hostages have been set free, but the State Department says they are increasing their diplomatic efforts to free the rest.
Washington has demanded that the insurgents release all of the embassy's staff, equipment and documents that were taken and immediately vacate the property.
A State Department spokesperson told Daily Mail, "We are concerned that Yemeni staff of the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a continue to be detained without explanation and we call for their immediate release. The United States has been unceasing in its diplomatic efforts to secure their release".
The spokesperson said that most of the hostages have been set free, but "the Houthis continue to detain additional Yemeni employees of the Embassy".
"We are also concerned about the breach of the compound that had been used by our Embassy prior to our suspension of operations in 2015. We call on the Houthis to immediately vacate it and return all seized property", the spokesperson continued.
"The U.S. government will continue its diplomatic efforts to secure the release of our staff and the vacating of our compound, including through our international partners".
News outlets in the middle east had reported that three Yemenis linked to the United States embassy were kidnapped from their homes in Sana'a on November 5th. Three weeks before that 22 people who 'worked on the security staff guarding the embassy' were kidnapped as well.
Ned Price, a State Department spokesman stated earlier this week, before officials publicly announced that rescue efforts were being carried out, "We are extremely concerned by reports of detentions of some of our local Yemeni employees in Sana'a, and we call for their immediate release. We have been unceasing in our behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to secure their release".
"We’ve seen some progress and we’re continuing to work this critical issue. The majority of those who have been detained are no longer in custody".
"We are committed to ensuring the safety of those who serve the U.S. Government overseas, and that is why we are so actively engaged on this matter, including through our international partners", Price stated.