2 US citizens released by Iran-backed terrorists in Yemen

WASHINGTON (AP) – The remains of two Americans and a third of those held captive by Iranian-backed militants in Yemen were released on Wednesday in exchange for the withdrawal of about 250 of the Houthi rebels from Oman, according to the White House and sources. Area.

The state news of Oman said that the American captives were flown from Yemen in an Omani aircraft. It said that 250 “Yemeni brothers” receiving treatment in Oman have been returned to Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, on two flights as part of the exchange.

“The United States welcomed the release today of US citizens Sandra Loli and Mikel Gidada from Houthi custody in Yemen,” National Security Advisor Robert O. Bryan said in a statement. “We send our condolences to the family of Bilal Fateen, whose remains will also be recovered.”

O’Brien did not mention the exchange, but thanked the leaders of Oman and Saudi Arabia for helping to ensure the release of the Americans.

Kieran Ramsey, director of the administration’s mortgage recovery cell, said that Loli and Gidada would soon return to the United States.

“Sadly, one of these Americans died during their illegal captivity,” Ramsey said.

Kash Patel, a deputy assistant working with Trump, told The Wall Street Journal that Loli had been held by the Houthis for nearly three years and Gidea had been held captive for about a year.

Yemen sank into chaos and civil war when Houthi rebels captured Sanaa from an internationally recognized government in 2014. The Saudi-led coalition that has been aligned with the government has been fighting the Houthis since March 2015.

The war in Yemen has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, causing millions of people to suffer from food and medical shortages. According to a database project that tracks violence, it has killed more than 112,000 people, including fighters and civilians.

According to the newspaper, Saudi officials said they were reluctant to withdraw the deal as it trained dozens of Houthi militants on advanced drones and missiles to return to the war zone.

Mohammad Abdel-Salam, a spokesman for Iran-backed militants, also confirmed that around 240 rebels returned to Sanaa on two Omani flights. The rebels were among the rebels who visited Muscat during peace talks in Sweden two years ago.

When contacted by The Associated Press, Abdel-Salam declined to comment on the release of both Americans.

The Americans’ release came a day before the planned UN-Brocade Exchange of more than 1,000 prisoners between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government. The United Nations said in September that the two warring parties agreed to exchange 1,081 conflict-related prisoners, with Saudi and Sudanese troops fighting on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition.


Associated Press writer Ahmed al-Hajj in Sanaa, Yemen contributed to this report.


True, the Americans’ release came a day earlier, not later, a planned UN-broker prisoner exchange.


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