President Trump announced Monday afternoon another American who was held hostage overseas has returned home.
"It is my honor today to announce that Danny Burch, a United States citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen for 18 months, has been recovered and reunited with his wife and children. I appreciate the support of the United Arab Emirates in bringing Danny home. Danny’s recovery reflects the best of what the United States and its partners can accomplish," Trump released in a statement.
"We work every day to bring Americans home. We maintain constant and intensive diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement cooperation within the United States Government and with our foreign partners. Recovering American hostages is a priority of my Administration, and with Danny’s release, we have now secured freedom for 20 American captives since my election victory. We will not rest as we continue our work to bring the remaining American hostages back home," he continued. "Today, we join Danny and his family in celebrating his return."
The announcement came onboard Air Force One as the President makes his way to Vietnam for a second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
The U.S. welcomes the recovery of U.S. Citizen Danny Burch held hostage in Yemen. Thanks to our partners in #UAE, @StateSPEHA, @USAinUAE, and the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell for their efforts. The safety of Americans is a high priority of the @realDonaldTrump Administration.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 25, 2019
Burch was an oil worker in Yemen and was held hostage by Iranian backed Houthi Rebels for 18 months. Burch had worked in the country for years and was taken captive in the middle of the day by armed men. He was 67 at the time of his abduction. From the New York Times:
An American oil worker was abducted from his car by unidentified gunmen on a busy street in the Yemeni capital, his wife and colleagues said on Monday.
The American, Danny Lavone Burch, 63, had spent years in Yemen working as an engineer at a Yemeni oil company when he was abducted on Saturday morning.
“They did it in broad daylight in front of everyone,” Nadia Forsa, Mr. Burch’s wife, said by phone from Sana, the capital.
Armed groups, including a powerful affiliate of Al Qaeda and the Houthi rebels who control Sana, have abducted foreigners to extract ransoms from their governments or because they accuse them of being spies.
In recent years, Yemen has been locked in a war between the Houthis in the north and forces nominally loyal to the internationally recognized president in the south.
The United States has been backing Saudi Arabia and its efforts in Yemen to fight the Houthis, who regularly fire rockets provided by Iran at civilian targets.
Since taking office in 2017, the Trump administration has secured the release of nearly two dozen hostages being held captive in countries around the world. These countries include North Korea, Turkey and others.