Yemen’s Houthi rebels continue to keep several local US embassy staff in jail – Reports

DOHA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – November 23, 2021) The rebels of the Houthi movement who rule northern Yemen continue to detain a number of officials at the US embassy in Sana’a, Al Arabiya television reported on Monday, citing reports of sources.

According to the broadcaster’s sources, the Houthis have detained 30 former and current U.S. Embassy employees.

“The Houthis still hold a number of US Embassy officials under arrest,” sources quoted by Al Arabiya said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday condemned the detention of Yemeni staff at the US embassy in Sana’a and the violation of the embassy compound by the Houthi rebels and called for their immediate release.

The Houthis reportedly attacked the compound on November 11. As a result of the attack, 25 employees of the diplomatic mission who had worked there as a guard were taken prisoner, all citizens of Yemen.

The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a has suspended operations since 2015.

Yemen has been in the throes of conflict between government forces led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi Ansar Allah movement for nearly seven years. The situation in the country was further complicated after Saudi Arabia joined the conflict alongside the Yemeni government in 2015, launching air, land and sea operations against the Islamist rebel movement.

Since February 2020, the Houthis have been carrying out a large-scale operation against the Yemeni army in Marib to take control of the province, which is also a political, military and economic center.