The U.S. Embassy in Yemen was stormed by an Islamic extremist group on Wednesday. They took hostages and seized equipment.
It was Bloomberg News who first reported that an Iran-backed Houthi extremist group had taken at least 25 Yemenis who were working for the United States. The Yemenis who were working not only for the U.S. embassy but also USAID, were taken into custody over a span of a few weeks.
The Free Beacon also reported that according to a media watchdog that translates foreign media, local media indicated that the Houthis had seized equipment from the compound.
The story reported was that a group of Houthi rebels reportedly stormed into the U.S. compound on Wednesday and they were seeking large amounts of equipment and materials, this is according to reports translated by the
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
This invasion came just five days after the Houthis kidnapped some Yemeni nationals who work for the U.S. embassy. It was during this raid on November 5th that Houthis kidnapped three Yemini nationals who were affiliated with the U.S. Embassy. They were in an employee’s private residence in Sana’a, according to MEMRI.
At least 22 other Yemenis were kidnapped by the Houthis in recent weeks. And many of them worked on the security staff guarding the embassy grounds, according to MEMRI.
A State Department spokesperson was interviewed and said that a majority of the hostages have been released, but some of the embassy staff have continued to be detained without any kind of explanation.
“We call on the Houthis to immediately vacate it and return all seized property,” the spokesman said. “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.”
Ned Price, the press secretary, said that the administration had been “unceasing” in their behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts to secure the hostage’s release. He said they have seen some progress and were continuing to work on this critical issue.
Former President Trump’s administration designated the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). This designation came under the leadership of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the Biden administration reversed the terrorist designation after taking over earlier this year.
The Associated Press reported on February 5th, “Biden’s administration is moving to revoke the designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, citing the need to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.”
The AP also reported that a State Department official confirmed the move on Friday after members of Congress were notified of the administration’s plans. That official was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity. The official also said that the removal changed nothing about the Biden administration’s views of the Houthis, even though they have targeted civilians and kidnapped Americans.
The U.S. closed its Yemen embassy in 2015 in the midst of a violent civil war that has since led to the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the United Nations.
The U.S. has been calling for an end to the conflict for a long time; it has placed more than 20 million in “dire humanitarian need.”
Saudi Arabia joined the fight in 2015, this came after there were calls for military assistance from Yemen President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi after he was forced out by Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia’s use of air raids has been condemned by human rights groups for adding to the humanitarian crisis. But calls for a ceasefire have been mostly ignored by the Houthi rebels. The have continued to make advances throughout Yemen over the last six years.